Man in Suit

by Joe Lavelle on February 5, 2010

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man in suit joe lavelle If you don’t already know, many bloggers carefully measure how many people are visiting their blog and for what reasons and many of us have tools to tell us what search words are used most often by people that click thru to our blog.  We then blog more about what is popular and brings people to our blog and blog less about things people don’t care about.

Well, in my top 10 most popular search terms is the phrase “man in suit”.  I have not ever really written about a man in a suit, but while I was still learning my blogging platform WordPress, I evidently used a bunch of pictures which had a default description of “man in suit”.  I have since learned to change the description of my pictures and to use more appropriate search terms.  However, I am still drawing quite a few hits from people looking for “man in suit”.   I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing as maybe once they get to my blog, they will also find the topic of career  acceleration interesting and they might read through several posts to see what I am all about and if I might be able to help them out.  In looking through click-thru patterns that does appear to be the case.  So as long as people are looking for “man in suit”, I thought I better give them a whole post! :)

Seriously, the point of my post is “do you really know what you customers want?”.  How do you know?  Do you have tools like bloggers do that tell you what they are looking for?  How do you know your customer is not looking for “man in suit”?  Are you getting their feedback on a regular basis through reliable means?  My experience is that many companies have very little idea what their customers really want and they have no method to figure it out.

I have worked for companies that were great at knowing and gathering customer desires and I have been at companies that decided on their own what customers liked and would buy.  Can you guess which companies were more successful?  You are right.  Here are a couple things that the better companies did.

When I worked for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), the company established a quality program whereby each major project was assigned a “Quality Partner”, a high ranking consultant not already associated with the client who was responsible for establishing a quality plan for the project and then for gathering data and customer feedback on a regular basis.  The Quality Partner then reviewed their findings first with the project leadership team and then with the client.

When I worked at First Consulting Group (now CSC), the company was obsessed with customer satisfaction.  In fact, the culture was clearly established around “customer first, employees second, and profits will take care of themselves”.  The culture waned at the end of my tenure, but the early years at FCG were the best of my career because we delighted customers every time.   In addition to the well-know culture, a client was sent a client satisfaction survey for every project  and we took it very seriously if a client had anything negative or even constructive to say.  We made it a point to address all concerns immediately.

I am very interested in what other companies that are successful knowing what their customers want do to know their customers want “man in suit”.  What does your company do well?  How could they do it even better?  Please share your valuable experience.

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