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Customer Management – A PC-to-Mac Finder’s Tale

Christopher Tuttle

Happy Camper Customer?Have you ever lost an account suddenly, unexpectedly? As in, one month they were “happy campers,” and the next they just disappeared?

I hate to admit it, but we haven’t been immune to this syndrome. The root causes were varied; sometimes it was just change in the organization, sometimes it was a change in strategy, but sometimes it was because we weren’t addressing a key need or pain, and the client decided to look elsewhere.

These are the worst types of lost accounts, because the simple fact is, we weren’t doing our jobs.

I bring this question up because at work I have recently been shifted from using a PC to using a Mac (I can hear all of the Mac disciples out there now shouting, “Hallelujah! A new convert about to enter the fold!”).

And sure, the 24″ iMac screen is a dream. It’s dual-core, plenty fast, big hard drive.

Except there’s one small problem: without fail, at least once a day, there’s something about MacOS that irritates me to no end: the file manager.

The simple fact is that relative to its competition—Windows File Manager, Nautilus for GNOME, and Dolphin for KDE—MacOS X’s Finder is the most difficult to use, least functional file manager of the group. The context menus are disorganized and lack features, there’s no tabbed file manager windows, it doesn’t remember list and item orders on digital media drives when you eject them, it frequently requires changing the icon/list/column view just to do simple cut/copy/paste activities . . . the end result is that I’m constantly fighting Finder just to do ground-level, basic file management stuff that frankly I had taken for granted on Windows and Linux for years.

(And by the way, lest anyone think I’m a shameless Microsoft “fanboy,” the best file manager I’ve ever used was Dolphin for KDE, hands down.)

But ultimately what does any of this have to do with sales, marketing, or lead management, or building customer relationships?

It’s pretty simple: For all of MacOS X’s touted features and “elegance,” Apple simply hasn’t made a file manager worthy of the rest of the consumer experience. Yes, my wiz-bang iMac still gets the job done (my content creation and productivity needs are generally met)—but the fact that “it’s mostly functional” hardly means I’m satisfied with the experience.

The moral of the story? Assuming that your clients are “satisfied” with a “mostly functional” product is a dangerous precedent.

A precedent that often leads to customer churn.

At XANT we’re constantly trying to improve our systems, and we have scheduled system updates monthly. But at least once a quarter we do a customer survey, and ask our clients what the number one, niggling, annoying bug in our system is, and then fix it.

If you’re not doing proactive customer management, rooting out clients’ often hidden “pains,” you’re missing out on a powerful opportunity to increase good will, and long-term customer satisfaction and value.

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