Understanding your customers is a key strategy in preparing your business to not just respond to customer needs, but to anticipate them. According to a recent report from Aberdeen, improved customer intelligence empowers organizations to profitably define, identify, and respond to high value customers. This report also states that 74% of best-in-class companies across industries say improving customer intelligence management practices is the top motivator for creating a culture of customer-centricity. This statistic highlights the growing emphasis on customer intelligence in the global business arena. However, they do not speak to the struggles many enterprises currently have in converting internal customer intelligence into market-facing action that will lead to increased sales, decreased costs, and improved retention. In fact, many companies fail to demonstrate a deep commitment to customer intelligence because of organizational barriers. To describe those organizations that do demonstrate this commitment, we have coined the term ‘Customer Intelligent Enterprise,’ or ‘CIE.’ In our work over the last ten years with hundreds of companies in a variety of industries, we discovered a common set of characteristics which define the Customer Intelligent Enterprise. These characteristics include: investment in the Voice of the Customer (VOC) and customer anthropology; the internalization of customer-centric attitudes, behaviors and processes; adeptness in market agility; and avoidance of operational silos that erode customer-centricity. By embracing the traits outlined in this paper, enterprises will reap the benefits of customer intelligence, including the competitive advantage that comes with effectively converting customer intelligence into action in an increasingly turbulent and customer-centric global business environment.
The next 6 articles will detail the characteristics of the Customer Intelligent Enterpise.