Swarming with the KIT principle

As last years of the last decade of the 20th century flickered to a close, a then-new way of delivering Software as a Service (SaaS), transferred power and expertise from companies to customers.

Customers could now cancel their contracts at any time, they were no longer locked into multi-year software deals. And since customers were also using the software in ways we didn’t anticipate, they too became important partners in resolving issues.

Expectations around time were reshaped. Customers wanted to use the software out of the proverbial box, without long implementation or customization times. And if they had an issue, they wanted it addressed swiftly, without being bounced around. They don’t care if it is a complex issue or not. In fact, Eighty-two percent of customers expect to solve complex problems by talking to one person.

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Want to be more customer focused? Stop focusing so much on customers.

Is it possible for someone to be too customer-focused? 

Why, yes, it is.

I’m reminded of a company we worked with a few years ago. As a highly respected global leader of specialty equipment that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the total annual contract value of the sale reaching much higher than that, its customers expected immediate responses, focused attention, and superior service. The manufacturer’s team of experts spent a lot of time and money ensuring the customers got exactly what they wanted and needed. 

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Sharing is Winning: the guts of a successful knowledge-sharing recognition program

I’m a big fan of collaborative games, games where you need to work together to achieve a goal. I play a couple on my iPhone and the best of them combine individual rewards and community involvement. If I contribute 10 archers to the next battle, I get an individual medal and my team captures the Black Knight’s castle. I love that I am being recognized and that the team benefits.I haven’t always been a fan of recognition programs for knowledge-sharing practices. I believe that sharing knowledge requires a change to behaviors. That change is only sustainable in the long-term if team members understand how sharing knowledge benefits them, their customers and the organization.

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