A message from the chair, July 2017

Some descriptionBrian Doidge, Chair, CIM South West Regional Board 

It is now 22 years, since the Harvard Business Review highlighted that the gulf between satisfied customers and completely satisfied customers can “swallow a business”. 

In our professional world of increasing technical terms and systems driven engagement, it would be easy to forget that many of us still see improving the experience our customers, as a vital competitive differentiator. For some of us, this inevitably is now framed by the range of digital experiences and interactions and for others metrics like Net Promoter Scores (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES) and measuring Customer Advocacy (CA) increasingly occupy our time and effort.  Others of us, are still trying to establish how to deal with our digital touchpoints and get our heads around if visitor intent and task completion measurement can be even useful to us at all.  Some of us are still trying to work out when exactly did measuring the customer churn rate become de rigueur anyway? However, a universal truth should be that any professional marketer will be all too well aware, that to thrive, we increasingly need to develop a deep and meaningful appreciation of our customers and their needs.

How often though, do we stop to ask if our customer is actually still the end, or are they now simply becoming a means to an end? Is creating a legendary customer experience, still really at the heart of everything we do? In fact, could it be argued that stopping to ask ourselves about how important our customer service is in reality and how we actually rate our service quality is a basic duty for any of us, who claim to be the living embodiment of a marketing orientation?  Hand on heart, could you easily show where you measure customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty, along with the steps you are taking as a direct result of this? Is it even conceivable that those of us who would never tolerate a large gap between forecasted and actual revenues or profits, would even consider company and customer assessments of satisfaction that diverge?

We know that designing the right offers and experiences and delivering world class propositions is still key.  Those of us who can place an emphasis on cross-functional collaboration and developing capabilities that create ever improving customer propositions, will find ourselves in a stronger place than those who don’t. We as your board for example, will always be mindful of this and always have the needs of you as the member as the driving force for our activities. 

Much of our effort as a regional board this year, has gone into strengthening the board itself, particularly its composition and modus operandi.  In addition, looking at how our events programme can be an affordable, accessible and relevant means of engagement remains as influential feature and will continue to evolve positively.  In fact, providing our professional marketers and our student members with the tools they need to flourish in our dynamic, creative and indeed important profession, will prevail.  We of course take all the feedback you kindly give us, both formally and informally, very seriously and we are always striving to do even better.  We have had some great successes this year and much to confirm that our local presence is valued and worthwhile.  However, we also know that we can get even closer to providing the support you need locally and we are always happy to hear your suggestions around what you feel this will look like.  We will continue to develop relevant events and ensure that they are offered across the spread of our region and of course we very much look forward to seeing you soon.