From the get-go, there’s always been a disconnect between a company’s ability to measure a customer’s behavior and their attitude. CRM systems are great at measuring the former; newer surveying solutions and feedback applications seek to answer the later. How well is open to debate.
In a down economy, this presents companies with a dilemma when price becomes a differentiating factor. Paul Greenberg tackled this on Wednesday during the closing keynote of SugarCon, and he brought up some great points surrounding the importance that customer advocacy and Web 2.0 will play in 2009.
So while companies don’t have control over a customer’s attitude, they do have control over their level of commitment. And with Web 2.0 becoming the norm, advocates are becoming the paradigm though which businesses will financial succeed or fail in 2009, and that means supporting customers via community building, blogging, social networking and other technologies especially as pricing moves to the forefront.
Pricing is a topic I’ve blogged about before, so I won’t beat this horse again, but in a nutshell, customers value other attributes as well, including product or service quality and service. Understanding those values in conjunction to a customer’s commitment towards your company will be critical.