InterACT 2007: Emotional attachment equals business success

If businesses are to be truly successful they need to become more emotionally involved with customers and be less focused on products and more focused on long-term, personalised relationships.

This so-called customer centricity will separate the winners from the losers in the future, Lior Arussy, chief executive at customer experience management specialist Strativity Group told delegates at Fair Isaac's InterACT 2007 2007 conference in Lisbon this week.

"Customer centricity is not executive memos, inspirational posters or the t-shirts saying that the customer is king and all that other paraphernalia," he said.

"Meeting customer expectations today is boring. When you meet expectations you're not meeting anything as the customer is looking for a wow. So in order to be customer centric you have to embrace and accept diversity."

Arussy cited an example of a man phoning up a florist, admitting that he had forgotten to send his wife flowers on their anniversary. Realising that - if the customer experience was a good one - the company would more than likely get repeat businesses every year, the customer services representative offered to send flowers to his wife with a note suggesting that the florist was at fault for delivering them to the wrong address, hence the delay in receipt.

"She wasn't doing what companies today are doing - greed by efficiency. That customer will never go to the competition. We ask our customers to be emotional but we must reciprocate," said Arussy.

Companies must drastically change their mindsets and think about adding value, rather than just selling, in addition to recognising the difference between treating customers as a destination or as a journey, according to Arussy.

Every single employee must fully understand the impact their actions have on customers and, ultimately, the business, he warned, advising organisations to turn each job into more of a mission than an isolated task.

Arussy then challenged the audience, asking them how many knew when their customers' birthdays were and secondly whether or not they send them cards acknowledging the date.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.