Redefining Customer

DrumI had a great time yesterday in Indianapolis. I was asked to give the keynote address at Interactive Intelligence’s (I3) annual User Forum. Don Brown, Joe Staples and the entire team at I3 were wonderful hosts and literally had us dancing in the aisles to a contagious and exciting beat.

My address was around the concept of redefining the word "customer." Here’s the cliff notes:

  • Technology has exploded and we have an unprecedented amount of options, information, channels of communication, and opportunities. Companies often respond in denial, oversimplification or unproductive industry comparison which leaves the customer out of the equation.
  • Technology allows us, even compels us to narrow our definition of customer, to understand that customer segments and channel segments within our customer base may have different expectations.
  • The growth of support networks with the organization needed to serve the end-user customer requires that we expand our definition of customer to include internal customers.
  • The changing definition of customer requires us to take another look at how we are doing customer research and Quality Assessment within our organizations so that we are harvesting the best, most useful data upon which to make tactical decisions which will positively impact the customer.

Thanks again to Jennifer Brown, Vanessa Brothers and everyone at I3 for the opportunity!

Photo courtesy of drum cafe.

  1 comment for “Redefining Customer

  1. May 25, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Interesting post, your right now more than ever the barriers to entry are lower and companies either imbrace technology or get run over. I know its changing when my grandmother from a small Midwestern town is asking about getting high-speed internet.

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