This is the fifth in the series of interviews with business leaders in the ‘customer’ space, leading authors, thought leaders and general all round good guys and gals, that I think that you will find interesting and helpful in growing your businesses.
Today, I want to introduce you to Syed Hasan, CEO of ResponseTek, who is leading provider of integrated customer experience solutions focusing on automating and operationalising customer feedback and voice of the customer information within businesses. ResponseTek helps their clients to listen more, learn quicker and spend less on their customer experience programs.
What I like about Syed is that he takes a very straight-forward, pragmatic and back to basics approach to building their business and helping deliver consistent and better customer experiences for their clients.
Summary of the interview:
- The principles of customer experience management are the same across all sizes of organisations.
- The difference between Europe and North America is that in Europe its more about the consistency of customer experience rather than the design of customer experience, which is more of the primary interest.
- There is a lot of hype around social media and customer experience and many companies are getting distracted by all of the noise that surrounds this area and missing a lot of opportunities coming from engaging with customers that contact them through their existing channels.
- Follow your customers, don’t be lead by new technology.
- Stand out companies in North America are realizing that listening to customers through traditional market research is no longer acceptable. That listening to customers and gathering that data has to be real-time (Research 2.0), where capturing the data in greater volumes and channeling it different parts of the organization so that it can be used and acted upon on a daily/weekly basis.
- You can’t design a great customer experience only at the senior level of the business.
- You can’t design a customer experience and expect it just to be great. You have to engage the front-line and get them involved.
- Reasonable compensation, an interesting job and a voice in an organization seem to be the keys to employee engagement. Most companies focus on the first two but don’t do the last one and that is where the real value is. Employees have a lot to contribute and that is key to getting their full engagement.
- Do the basics first and don’t be too quick to move onto the next ‘shiny’ thing.
A bit more about Responsetek’s technology
ResponseTek’s Customer Experience Management (CEM) Suite consists of four elements:
This is real-time, multi-channel customer and market insights and what Syed referred to as Market Research 2.0.
All about capturing the voice of the customer to help drive business improvement.
Keep on top of and respond to what is being said about your business in the news and on social media sources.
Pulling it all together to give everyone the access to the information they need, all and every day.
To learn more, visit their site.
About Syed Hasan (taken from his company bio)
Syed Hasan founded ResponseTek Networks Corp. in November, 1999, after a 10-year career in international business consulting.
Syed, a graduate of mechanical engineering degree and international business, began his career in the UK with the pharmaceutical division of 3M. Recruited by the Canadian engineering firm Reid Crowther in 1992, he then went on to establish and lead its strategic consulting division. In 1996, Syed joined Cambridge Technology Partners to lead their ecommerce strategy group, and helped define and implement corporate and e-commerce strategies and solutions for progressive Fortune 500 companies such as American Express, Ford Motor Company, BP Amoco, Voicestream, and Sega.
In late 1999, driven by an awareness of the critical gap between corporate brand promises and delivery, and the impact this was having on customer experiences and customer satisfaction, Syed founded ResponseTek, running the start-up out of his downtown Vancouver apartment.
By early 2000, ResponseTek had acquired an initial round of venture capital, hired its first employees and begun development of one of the industry’s first customer experience management (CEM) solutions.
By early 2001, the company had its first two clients, and started to sign such blue-chip clients as the Vancouver Canucks, Vancity Credit Union, Nike, British Telecom and GE.
Over the years, Syed and ResponseTek have received a lot if critical acclaim:
- Business in Vancouver Top 40 Under 40 (2002)
- Silicon Valley North Magazine “Next CEO” (2002)
- Rocketbuilders “Ready to Rocket” (2004, 2005, 2007)
- Red Herring 100 for “Most Promising Companies Driving the Future of Technology” (2007)
Today, Syed has built Responsetek into one of the industry’s leading Customer Experience Management (CEM) software companies, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and London, UK. The company’s portfolio of clients includes leading consumer brands in North America and Europe, such as AAA, Allianz, Aon, Bank of America, Barclays, HSBC, Sabre, Shaw and WestJet.
Make sure you check out Syed’s Customer Experience blog here, Responsetek’s Twitter feed here and their facebook page here, and finally you can connect with members of the company and learn more about them over at LinkedIn.
Let me know your thoughts about the conversation that Syed and I had in the comments below.