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Posted by on in From the Trenches
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Customer-Centric: Catch Phrase or Way of Life?

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Reagan Cook is Senior Marketing Analyst at GES

I read an interesting blog recently from the Harvard Business Review. It was called, “What it Really Means to be ‘Customer-Centric’.” It discussed most companies’ tendencies to say they are “customer centric,” and the blog pointed out that we should then be treating customers less like data or demographics and more like people. At the end of the day, we’re all human beings, no matter our profession.  The writer makes a really good point, but I’d like to go a step further.

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It strikes me that it’s very easy to say “customer centric,” and so many companies like to convey that they are doing this. In reality it is meaningless unless their customers really experience that focus and are willing to tell others. It’s a lot like a brand residing in the minds of customers, not in vaults of the company. What about on the show floor? You’re exhibiting, and instead of getting to know the person who’s stepped into your booth, you quickly grab their badge to scan it so you can capture their data and potentially qualify them as a lead. Instead, how about asking them for their name and how business is going (if they are B2B) or the issues or ideas that are top of mind, etc.

Customer focus starts before the relationship with the client. Concern starts with genuine interest in knowing their specific needs, which should lead you to having a specific, value-added approach to their face-to-face marketing.

As a company, we are developing more insights into companies that we would like to partner with. In my experience, all insight does not need to come from certified or official industry research. Our own natural curiosity and interest in others should drive our interactions. What about using tactical execution to make sure your exhibit staff approaches attendees in the right way? It requires prospect recognition that happens before your team hits the show floor, something personalized for that individual and their company that helps them feel special while meeting a specific company objective.

Instead of advertising that we are “customer centric,” let’s actually do it. You’ll see the kind of ROI you need post-show.

How special do you feel when you receive personal attention? Share your experiences below.

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