It’s all about the customer

One of the benefits of GM being a corporate sponsor of Future Midwest was getting the opportunity to meet with Joseph Jaffe (@jaffejuice) and hear him talk about his latest book, Flip the Funnel.  I finally started to read it last week.  What are my initial thoughts?  It’s all about the customer.  Jaffe proposes “flipping” the traditional marketing funnel upside down and using your current customers as your brand evangelists to help generate new sales.

This certainly is a different mindset among a lot of corporations today.  Think about it.  Most companies are solely focused on the time of the purchase.  What about focusing on the time between the purchase?  There are countless examples out there now…think Zappos.  They are all about the customer and customer service.

The other factor in all of this are the social tools (it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention those!).  Customers talk to each other!  We all know the power of word of mouth and customers trust each other more so than they trust the brands themselves.  Jaffe uses the “Conversation Prism” from Brian Solis to illustrate his point (see below).  With all the tools out there, are brands paying attention to what customers are saying about them?

With Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, consumers are generating content and opinions that influence their personal networks.  If brands can talk to and take care of these customers regularly, then what do you think the conversation will be about?  My hypothesis is that it will be positive.

The last thing I want to leave you with is this.  GM at one time had a division that was clearly focused on the customer.  It was Saturn.  Can you imagine if that customer experience existed today with the products that are currently in market?  Remember the “Saturn Homecoming”?  Saturn invited ALL of its customers to Spring Hill, TN to see where their cars were built.  The response?  44,000 people made their way to Tennessee.  Talk about customer loyalty!

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5 thoughts on “It’s all about the customer

  1. Thanks for this…now I don’t have to read it! 🙂

    I have a blog post rolling around in my head right now…it’s about the difference in marketing between entrepreneurial companies and gigantic corporations. Your point about Saturn is very well taken and I think companies forget how they got to where they when they get big. Entrepreneurial companies DEPEND on their brand evangelists to help them sell. It’s called word-of-mouth and it’s not a new concept. I think it just gets forgotten as you grow, add sales teams, and add processes and operations.

    P.S. I’m still aiming for my name in a bigger font size on the right over there –>

  2. Glad I could help you be more efficient with your time! 🙂

    Completely agree with you on how companies can forget their true roots as they grow. We (GM) had this business model that worked and it was completely focused on the customer. Unfortunately that got lost when we brought Saturn under the corporate umbrella. People I’ve talked to still talk about the customer experience to this day. It even filtered to the employees. Saturn was truly a different kind of company.

    P.S. I tagged you in this post to help with the font size. I noticed Willmert’s name was getting a little too big. This might be a fun contest between you 2.

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