Note: Hat tip to Guy Stephens (@guy1067) for the interview suggestion and for introducing me to Wendy.
This interview makes up number thirty-one in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that I think that you will find interesting and helpful in growing your businesses.
Below are highlights from our interview:
The theme that runs through Wendy’s career is how organisations and individuals can build long-term, relationships that matter.
Get Satisfaction is a customer engagement platform that allows businesses of any size build relationships with their customers wherever they are online.
Traditionally, companies have had to reach out to their customers from inside their companies using feedback forms etc but now through the use of technology tools, like Get Satisfaction, they are able to go to where their customers are to engage and interact with them.
We have to give huge credit to much of what is happening now to what Doc Searls talked about (Markets as conversations) in The Cluetrain Manifesto that was published over a decade ago (1999).
What is happening around us is a ‘beautiful collision’ of our natural instincts to share and talk about things and the development of technology that allows companies to talk to customers where they are, using the platforms that they are using.
All of this, Wendy believes, is ‘elegantly disruptive’ to our traditional way of doing business and thats why she fell in love with what Get Satisfaction is doing.
Businesses are having to (re)learn how to do business in a more human way.
Wendy believes that we naturally want to help each other but the change to being more customer centric or customer service led feels unnaturally hard because we have put in place too much business process and technology that acts as a barrier to a more human way of doing business.
Also, organisational culture and the level of investment that business has in these processes and technologies acts as a barrier to change.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook’s, recent apology about their Map App probably had a positive impact on their brand equity because it was a very human response to say sorry and to pledge to do better.
Everyone that is involved in the Customer Relationship Management field from service providers to technology vendors to change management professionals have a responsibility to build the transparency and trust that is needed to support these new times and ways of doing business.
This will force us not to hide behind the technology. Wendy says that ‘she doesn’t want to be the wizard behind the curtain’. The curtain needs to be pulled back so that we can be more open and able to build those personal and more human relationships.
The world is changing around us, in front of our very eyes and business executives and business owners are looking for the ‘answer’ but there is no answer.
Business is evolving and firms need to commit to evolution learning, being flexible, agile and collaborative.
However, we need to be careful about some of the words that get used, like engagement and collaborative, that are being bandied about as they can get hijacked by industry players, consultants, vendors and the like.
Get Satisfaction wants to help firms really understand what engagement means.
Wendy doesn’t think that true engagement is clicking through an ad or being part of a contest on a fan-page.
Those interactions can be important as part of an overall journey or relationship but they are not the whole thing.
Engagement is very closely related to how we build relationships and has a two-way flow. Old article: Is your marketing interesting and interested?
Sometimes, all of the talk about engagement etc is all too abstract and we need to be more pragmatic about what we can do to grow our and our clients businesses.
Get Satisfaction connects all of a businesses web-presences so that all of the conversations that take place can be brought together and managed in one place providing ease of use, efficiency, management, insight that can be shared internally and consistency. It is a business’ conversation hub.
Their platform also integrates with other platforms like ZenDesk (link) and Service Cloud etc
Relationships matter. Always have and always will.
Good relationships make good business.
About Wendy (taken from her LinkedIn profile)
An accomplished leader and passionate innovator, Wendy Lea has over 25 years of experience in the sales and marketing industry. An expert in multi-channel strategy, Wendy has served as a CEO, corporate executive, angel investor, strategic advisor and board member to dozens of innovative start-ups and public companies.