The pain of misalignment: Your body doesn’t like it, why should your customers?

by Marc Sokol April 21, 2011

Recently I published a post describing on how marketing and customer service functions are impacting each other. More than 1,900 people have read the post so far, so I conclude that I’m not the only one who cares about this issue.   Now consider how social media is also driving opportunity and the need for […]

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How smartphones will read customer attitudes

by Marc Sokol April 8, 2011

Will QR codes become the mood ring of the new millennium? Remember mood rings? Put them on and supposedly they would reflect whatever mood you were feeling by the heat you generated. While QR codes (or Quick Response two-dimensional bar codes that can be read by a smartphone-based code scanner) aren’t new, we are just […]

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Good business unit strategy; poor customer experience. What would you do?

by Marc Sokol March 29, 2011

Recently I’ve been talking with executives about customer experience and the alignment of marketing, sales and operations functions. Some report success they have seen driving improvement in this area, while others are clearly frustrated. Consider the comments from this executive, who leads a large customer services function, including a contact center with hundreds of staff. […]

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Making change happen: magic words vs. words-in-action

by Marc Sokol March 22, 2011

Image via Wikipedia Organizational change is fraught with buzzwords.  We treat many of them as if they were magic words. They are not. Try this exercise: Out loud state the name of any popular change initiative (six sigma, customer centricity, etc) and then state the following word…”abracadabra!” Did anything change? Seth Godin recently posted on […]

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Fishing for what customers really value

by Marc Sokol March 16, 2011

Originally written about employee engagement, and how some companies respond to economic challenge, the following is also about fishing for customers: On the frozen lakes of Minnesota, Winter fishing requires patience, And timing when you must move to the shore Those who don’t read the signs, Of a coming thaw, Had best learn to walk on water […]

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Pagan business owner sacrifices female employees to appease customer

by Marc Sokol March 6, 2011

What happens when you pursue being customer-centric, but don’t balance that goal with also being employee-centric?  This is your chance to coach the business owner back to the right path. First the story… Ariel Kaminer, The Ethicist, in the Sunday New York Times, shares “A faith-based decision”. The situation presented was this… I work at […]

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Newsflash! Dog psychologists learn to play catch!!

by Marc Sokol March 2, 2011

That’s right, you heard the news here:  Corporate dog psychologists, otherwise known as those marketing professionals behind the action at a major pet store chain, are supposed to help catch new customer business. Our roving reporter (let’s just call him ‘Rover’) had this to say of his recent experience as a pet store customer: “Most […]

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Five secrets from a dance instructor that will sweep your customers off their feet.

by Marc Sokol February 24, 2011

Our last post began with a story about Tim who trains surgeons to use new medical devices. He shared five keys to training surgeons; each based on the skills of training couples the art of ballroom dancing, his former career. What could Tim, a dance instructor, know that applies to training a surgeon? 1. Tailor […]

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Dance instructor operates on surgeon…and why the patient is a happy customer!

by Marc Sokol February 21, 2011

If you want to be more customer-centric in the way you train, draw from your own personal experience. The gentleman sitting next to me trains surgeons to use new medical devices. As we chat, ‘Tim’ reveals that his secret for successfully training surgeons to use a new medical device is very similar to the skills […]

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How much does your marketing department really show the love?

by Marc Sokol February 16, 2011

Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but not for marketers. We are about love all year long, right? Maybe but maybe not: your company strategy sets the stage for how much your customers want to feel your love…. Michael Tracy and Fred Wiersema wrote The Discipline of Market Leaders, a classic book on strategic […]

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