Friday, May 18, 2012

Customer Feedback Fridays - Award-Winning

All this talk about conferences, and support as the leader has got me thinking about awards and defining what it means to be "Award-Winning." To be an award winner, you have to break records, you have to change the norm, and you have to have a great story.

Apart from technology, when I think of awards (and a great story) one of the first things to come to mind is James Cameron and his highest grossing films of all time, Avatar and Titanic. When we switch to entertainment, it's easy to see how Avatar and Titanic are award-winning films. James Cameron is a game changer. In 2009, the American Film Institute recognized Cameron's advances in CGI effects with their yearly "AFI Moments of Significance" award claiming it "will have profound effects on the future of the art form". The majority of us would agree that these movies are a game changer, not only for visual affects, but the ability to paint an experience in our minds that we will never forget.

According to leading analyst firms and industry associations, the core component of an award winner is to tell a story. The story has to begin with challenges, and the judges should be able to visualize themselves in the story. The next portions should include: your approach to solve the problem; what did you do; and a results statement. In summary, to have a compelling story the critical success factors are: a great beginning, good rhythm and pacing, and a great conclusion. The conclusion should not be that you reached 'nirvana' but that something significant happened, and there is still work to be done. Sounds like an award-winning movie to me.

A winning support organization has a difficult challenge. A winning support organization has to provide the technology and experience to the end user that makes them happy, and makes them a loyal customer. A winning support organization has to provide the Return On Investment (ROI) to justify the technology and demonstrate to the enterprise that the support provided aligns with the brand message. And because support has a finger on the pulse of the customer, the support organization has to transform itself from the perception of 'cost-center' to innovator.

James Cameron had tools: production equipment, software, cameras, etc. to help him make a film. But the ingredients to make him a game changer are his vision, the experience he created for the audience, and his ability to make us wanting more.

In support, the tools are there for everyone to partake. There are some great technology tools out there, and they are in abundance. In order to be award-winning, you have to have the right tools, the vision, create a great experience, and make your audience come back for more. You have to share your vision not only with your core audience, but evangelize your findings across the enterprise. 

With that, I will share with you a quote from an award-winning noHold customer. This particular customer has taken the tools (technology) and created a great experience for the customer. In addition, this particular support organization has caught the eye of the entire enterprise. Congrats to Cisco for winning multiple awards.

Happy Friday.

“We never stop improving. It’s just part of our daily routine – we turn our attention to every single detail that might be involved in the customer experience. And that is a very big fish to fry.” - Tarik Mahmoud, Cisco