Jeff Marr

How Uniquely Valuable are the Best Strategic Account Managers? — ‘Count the Ways…’

In thinking about the best account managers; those managing growing, profitable customer accounts, thoughts naturally go to being skilled in communicating, relationship-building and sharing product knowledge. But the 2014 Report on Current Trends & Practices in Strategic Account Management conducted by Walker for the...

Customer Experience Promoting Collaboration

Customer Experience (CX) leaders find themselves uniquely positioned to foster collaboration between functions and with customers. As one example, CX often builds an advocacy network of leaders from across customer facing or support functions. Meeting with this team encourages action planning using VOC results...

“I’d rather do it myself!”

The 1960's housewife screamed, "Mother, I'd rather do it myself!" to her mother or in-law trying to help in her kitchen. I remember how this byline in a headache medicine commercial was repeated on playgrounds and campuses, in bridge parties and even sitcom skits....

The Danger in Providing Excellent Customer Experience

Here is a frightening but too-common scenario. A long-standing business customer has received top-notch product quality and support but suddenly decides to bid the work out. Or despite a long stretch of flawless performance from you as a key vendor, your customer (or his...

Five tips toward a new metric assuring customer focus

A quick, true story -- when delivering buyer insights years ago to a global manufacturing client -- a name we all would recognize -- the client leaders in the meeting were stunned by one of our key findings. Their products were top-notch as expected,...

In B2B customer relationships, ‘O what a tangled web we weave’

The "tangled web" woven in this famous poem is about practicing deceit. Integrity makes life much easier in account managment too, but the "tangled web" in B2B is the complexity of roles and relationships that must be developed. For example, large customer-side relationships include...

What does resourcefulness in growing key business customers have to do with cooking?

Not a big reality TV fan, I admit being quite entertained recently seeing my first episode of "Chopped" on the Food Network. This cooking show challenges four competing chefs to create dishes in about a half hour. Each chef must work with the...

Where hospitality fits into B2B customer loyalty

Sales and Marketing executives who must "place bets" on where to allocate resources sometimes ask, "Are we spending too much on customer/hospitality-related activities? What's the impact on earning loyalty?" Entertainment's impact is hard to measure. It likely doesn't win business on its own, or act...

Survival Innovation

The recent death of Steve Jobs and publication of his biography sparked public attention to business innovation. Apple's track record brings to mind a more old-fashioned word -- invention. New-to-the-world, breakthrough products or "disruptive" ones in the sense of their changing whole business categories....

For customer focused leadership, be innovative….and lean

Many companies struggle when it comes to actually enhancing the customer experience. Even after customer initiatives are planned, time may pass and leaders wonder why customer scores aren't improving. Good intentions and plans are often not sustained, getting overtaken by the running of the...

Unholy Partnerships and Bubbles — Another on the Way?

You don't have to be an economist (which I'm not) to recognize that extreme boom and bust cycles harm the economy. A market bubble such as the housing mortgage debacle has at its core some unhealthy relationships between the economic partners involved. I think...

Co-Sharing Testimony for the Win-Win … and Account Growth

In a recent blog, I implied that learning your customer contacts' challenges and needs can be as important as the homework you do on their company. But I think you can assume they will benefit from the success of your product -- its implementation,...

Customer Strategies — Getting Personal

The old business saying, "Nobody was ever fired for hiring IBM," should have this corollary-- "People got promoted for hiring IBM." Vendor choice and experience helps launch (and destroy) careers. I knew a young manager who became a young executive in a Global 500...

When choosing vendors, do companies ‘right-size’?

B2B vendors are selected for reasons that vary by buying sector and company. Vendor size wouldn't always be on a company's short list of decision criteria, but I believe the size of the vendor plays a larger role than some buyers would admit. Implied...

Tying Employee Compensation to Customer Feedback: It Really Works!

This article was originally published by Creating Loyalty. About half of the large companies in the United States include customer feedback within their incentive compensation, according to a special survey we conducted on this topic in 2005. In The Walker Insight Report on Tying Employee...

What Are They Thinking? Your Partners Can Tell You a Lot

In my 25 years of consulting on corporate customer feedback programs, I have seen channel partners become increasingly beneficial to the value of the programs, particularly in technology business categories. I use the term "partner" to broadly include companies that are reselling, adding value...

Should the Focus Be on Customers’ Experience or Loyalty?

This article was originally written as a column for the newsletter, Creating Loyalty. We at Creating Loyalty prefer the term, "customer loyalty" over "customer experience," but the two concepts are close cousins. Those familiar with the customer loyalty management (CLM) model recognize the large impact...

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