Customer Feedback Key to Market Leadership- SevOne CAB Summit 2011
What typically happens at customer advisory board (CAB) meetings? What should happen? Our SevOne CAB Summit 2011 was held last week in Atlantic City. The first day was one of meetings and conversations. We spent the second day golfing. The summit was a surprise for me. Brian Harvell, SevOne's VP of Product Engineering recalled from his experience as a leader at Comcast and AOL, “Customer advisory board meetings are heated.” A group of powerful leaders gets together, under tremendous pressure to figure out cost effective ways to manage the performance of their critical IT infrastructure, services, and applications. But often times, the host is not hearing customers' pain. Sometimes, the host company simply can't understand their users and/or customers' problems. So, sparks fly.
Are we, as a company, listening any better? While speaking about our CAB meeting, Harvell said, “This was, by far, the most positive and pleasant customer advisory board meeting that I ever attended.”
Another surprise was how similar the requirements were from a diverse group of top global enterprises and service providers, including Comcast, ACS, a Xerox Company, a top multinational pharmaceutical company, a top consumer electronics and personal computers brand and a global financial services giant. They insisted that SevOne stay the course, focusing on our core strength and competency – network performance management while leveraging partnerships for areas like DPI and fault.
They also want us to deliver more service and business level context to the performance data we collect and present. Some criticism, I see as, ‘tough love.'
I don't want my blogs to be “marketing pitches”. Instead, I want a conversation. What can we do better? What is your biggest pain?
Mike Phelan is CEO and President of SevOne.