The $4 Million Call: Profiting from TOTAL Customer Support


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Ron Burley What if one customer support call, regarding an issue that isn’t something your company controls, is the one that makes the difference in your company’s survival? That’s what happened when Bob called Ron Burley at Broadcast Software at 2 a.m, because he needed help configuring Microsoft Windows.

Writing this week’s article on how a company reaped unexpected (and very timely) rewards from ensuring a customer had a great total experience brought me back 15 years to 1998. That’s when Patty Seybold and I originally published Classic—our best-selling book that heralded the age of the Customer. When we began researching best practices on the Internet in 1994, we were just looking for successful e-commerce stories. What we discovered, instead, was that the best and most successful early web sites—,,, National Semiconductor, iPrint, and many others—were successful because they “made it easy for customers to do business.” That included “owning” the customer’s total experience. That was one of the eight universal “truths” we discovered. We called those eight best practices the Critical Success Factors. And I’m delighted to report that these eight still hold up today!

Of course, there are many other factors that go into creating and maintaining a customer-centric organization (as I wrote about in my article). But these eight critical success factor are the basics to not only making it easy for customers to do business with you, but to help customers successfully achieve their goals. Because, after all, isn’t that what it’s all about—helping customers be successful, so that you can also succeed in a win/win partnership?

Owning the Customer’s Total Experience
A Success Story for a Company that Didn’t Let a Customer Down in a Time of Need
By Ronni T. Marshak, EVP & Sr. Consultant/Analyst, Patricia Seybold Group, August 16, 2013

(Read the short sample and download the entire article in PDF.)

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ronni Marshak
Patricia Seybold Group
Ronni Marshak co-developed Patricia Seybold Group's Customer Scenario® Mapping (CSM) methodology with Patricia Seybold and PSGroup's customers. She runs the CSM methodology practice, including training, certification, and licensing. She identifies, codifies, and updates the recurring patterns in customers' ideal scenarios, customers' moments of truth, and customer metrics that she discovers across hundreds of customer co-design sessions.


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