Entrepreneur is running a series of articles about big data and how it can help executives and managers make smarter decisions and gain insight into their customers and industries.
The April 16, 2014, article, Evolve or Die in the Age of the Consumer, by Lonnie Mayne, president at Mindshare Technologies, offers a candid assessment of the power of consumers in today’s social media world. Mayne writes: “For better and worse, consumers have more power over a brand’s reputation than ever before. Forrester calls this new era the ‘Age of the Customer,’ a 20-year business cycle in which the most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers. To win in this new age, Forrester declares, companies must become customer obsessed and ‘the only sustainable competitive advantage is knowledge and engagement with customers.’”
Couple the ‘Age of the Customer’ with the plethora of information available to businesses today, and, Mayne points out, businesses can get consumed by the data and lose sight of customers’ interests. However, there are businesses that are taking advantage of data to build customer-engagement strategies into every level of their business.
According to Mayne, “The companies succeeding in this new age are those putting pressure on themselves to perform at the highest level for their customers, while also leveraging technology and big data investments to drive operational improvement…Some companies are doing this by getting ahead of their customers, anticipating their needs and delivering a consistently outstanding experience at every point of contact.”
In a recent blog by Sinu principal, David Owen, Sinu: The Philosophy Behind the Service, he shares how the Sinu business model is driven by an aspiration to master the art of superior customer service. Here at Sinu, we evaluate our customer feedback and sales data using the same Business Intelligence tools we make available to our customers. We strive to engage with our customers in meaningful ways via website, social media, blogs, and, most importantly, in person. However, the bottom line continues to be listening to our customers, hearing what they need, simplifying the way we offer them solutions, and humanizing the customer service experience.