Magazine article CRM Magazine

Lessons in Customer Centricity from CRM Vendors: When CEOs Listen to the Voice of the Customer, Everyone Wins

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Lessons in Customer Centricity from CRM Vendors: When CEOs Listen to the Voice of the Customer, Everyone Wins

Article excerpt

AT ITS 2014 user conference, marketing automation platform provider Infusionsoft shared a statistic from a study of 850 small business owners--half of whom were its customers. Thirty-four percent of customers said the best thing about owning their business is "they love their work and their customers." Only 15 percent of noncustomers said the same. Another key finding: A substantial percentage of the customer population is small by design; they are not looking to grow into a big business, but to have a business that enables them to do what they love while making a good living. This kind of information enables Infusionsoft to stay connected to the needs of a large portion of its customers, whose reason for being in business may not fit with conventional motives.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Infusionsoft's approach to understanding the needs of its customers provides a great example of building a customer-centric business. But it's not the only company doing this. Following are the stories of two other vendors we can learn from when it comes to building a customer-centric organization.

INSIGHTLY

In just three years, Insightly founder Anthony Smith built one of the most popular CRM applications in the Google Apps Marketplace. He needed a small business customer management solution that worked and integrated with Google Apps. When he couldn't find one, he created it.

Today, Insightly is among the highest-rated services on the marketplace, with more than 800 user reviews. This was accomplished with a limited budget and no initial outside funding.

Apart from the Google Apps Marketplace commenting and referral system, Smith used the following low-cost services to build his business:

* Google Consumer Surveys to reach out to customers;

* Zendesk's integrated support and ticketing platform for customer support requests/inquiries;

* 99 Designs to design some of the pages and get some early prototypes done;

* Odesk to outsource specific pieces in the code base; and

* Amazon Web Services Compute to increase computing power to serve the needs of customers that were coming on board fairly quickly.

At the time Insightly was launched into the Google Apps Marketplace, the Marketplace only had a few hundred apps. …

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