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Custom Customer Centricity and EMC's Success Essay

Importance of Customer Centricity for EMC’s Success and Future Development. Customer centricity has been of utmost importance to EMC’s success over the past 30 years. When the business began, their focus was just on selling their products and nothing more. This, however, brought problems when the disks became faulty which almost destroyed their customer base. The company then realized that they had incompetent technology and lacked ample human capital to deal with these problems. This prompted Mike Ruettgers to pioneer the building of a customer centric business. This approach to business has immensely helped EMC in retaining customers and winning customer loyalty. This is because customers prefer a relationship with their service providers; a platform where they can communicate with them in case of a break down and are guaranteed of immediate and effective response.

Customer centricity enabled EMC to increase their sales. For example, statistics show that, in 2001, EMC drew almost 100% of their revenue from just one product, data storage. This is the product EMC has sold to customers for a long time (Avery & Steenburgh, 2011). This, therefore, means that the company managed to have more customers in this line. This approach has also helped them in designing better products that are appealing to the customers. This is because EMC calculated and deliberated move to involve their customers in bringing out the best results.

The approach is also of importance in their going forward in that it is the company’s secret weapon in winning and retaining customers. Through this practice, they have managed to make it to the top and, therefore, hold it as their success formula for the future. This move also enabled the company to cut on some avoidable costs. This further enhanced EMC’s ability to enhance success on customer retention and loyalty.

Critical Aspects of EMC's Customer Centricity Initiatives. The customer centric initiatives in EMC are built on the belief that customer relationships are a recipe to long term success. The initiatives are all geared towards offering the customer better services and delivering services beyond their expectation. Services are specifically designed to provide a ground for putting their customers’ interests first in a bid to build a relationship with the customers (Avery & Steenburgh, 2011).

There are a number of structures and practices that are designed, aligned and instituted to help in realizing these initiatives. Performance metrics is one of the aspects of the initiative. The performance metric involves measuring and analyzing customer satisfaction. This is an entirely different approach as compared to the company’s initial practice. In the past, the company only focused on the sales made. EMC paid little or no attention to the outcome of the sale and the status of the customer.

Another aspect of the initiative that the company structured is the incentives. The incentives of the company were realigned to further help in realizing the new path of operation. Employees were encouraged to embrace team work rather than being heroes in the field. The company further instituted accountability and formal oversight structures. This has helped in keeping track of every employee and service delivery to the customer.

The Customer Centricity Initiatives have helped EMC to achieve its goal of being a customer centric company (Avery & Steenburgh, 2011). This is because it has enabled EMC to exceed the customers’ expectations on quality of every product and service offered, innovation and improvement of products every time, including during interaction with the customer EMC would always be keen to take note of the customers’ concerns.

The Key Attributes and Need for a Culture of Customer Centricity at EMC. The key attributes of customer base, customer experience, customer needs and challenges affect the need for a culture of customer centricity at EMC in many ways. First, customer needs and challenges prompt EMC to be at the forefront in innovation, delivery and design so as to meet customer’s expectations, at any time (Avery & Steenburgh, 2011). In order to achieve a culture of customer centricity, the company is obliged to invest a lot in research as this is the only avenue to help the company break new grounds, each and every moment. Building a wider customer base, on the other hand, has given the company staff an uphill task of keeping up to date with the needs and challenges of every client. This is because it is the only way to make every customer feel that the relationship is valid. This reiterates the need for a customer centric culture.

Customer experience also affects the need for the company to develop a customer centric culture. This will help EMC to treat its customers with a relatively standardized customer service. When this culture has been developed in every employee, the standards of treating the customers will be the same at any point in time. This is because any customer will expect the same if not better services when returning for another transaction. Ensuring that every experience that customers have with the company will always prompt them to come back for other transactions needs a culture of excellent service.

Traditional B2B versus the New B2C Customer Centricity. Customer centricity might also differ between EMC’s traditional business to business transaction and the new business to client frontier in a number of ways. In the traditional market, the company was focused on 200 large companies only and managed to build their loyalty through the customer centricity initiative. However, the company is experiencing problems trying to reach their clients acquired from the VAR initiative. Moreover, with the emergence of digital technology, customers prefer searching for information online before purchasing any product. This has made a little bit challenging for EMC to initiate its customer centricity at the early stages of the purchase. This  leaves the company with the option of embracing technology as the only way of furthering their practice.

EMC's Recent Strategic Moves and Customer Centricity Approach. In the recent past, EMC developed a new sales structure. This entailed partnering with smaller companies who they could involve in selling some of their products. EMC had entered into partnership relations with a number of companies. These include companies like DELL and CISCO. These partnerships enabled EMC to increase their returns and, at the same time, cut costs that come with direct sales (Avery & Steenburgh, 2011). EMC classified these partners as Value Added Resellers. However, this created some problems. For example, the company could not access the customers that were serviced by their partners. This automatically meant that customers could not experience the high touch that EMC offered to its direct customers. This is because their only point of contact with the customers was through the VAR partners.

The other problem was with the companies that EMC had acquired from the VAR partnerships. The main problem here was how to take the customers through the high touch and quality experience and get their loyalty since they were more of acquired customers.

Effects of the Internet, Social Media and Web 2.0 Technology on the way B2B Business Buy. The internet, social media and web 2.0 technologies have led to reduced spending in the sector of technology. With the presence of many websites offering versatile information on different products, customers now have gained a wide range of options for choosing. In this situation, they are poised to make their choice depending on the price quoted by the service provider. This has led to increase in competition for customers coupled with a reduction of prices to suit the customers. Many companies, therefore, had to cut prices so as to acquire more customers. Internet has also led to reduction of one to one contact between customers and their service providers. This, therefore, means that for a customer to be prompted to opt for a product, it must be well marketed both in the internet and the social media.

One of the benefits of digital interaction with customers is that it is cost effective. It has helped companies to move from the old days of brochures and posters, among others, to a new era of websites and groups in the social media like Twitter and Facebook. The other benefit is that digital technology has helped marketers to be more specific on their targeted market. It has helped them in packaging a product to suit a certain segment of the market.

Digital interaction with customers, however, poses quite a number of risks to the service provider. A consumer may, for example, be given a false impression by the nature of the marketing structure of the product. This implies that the expectation of the customer may either be exceeded or may not be met when the product is finally purchased. This might lead to either the rise or fall of a company. Digital interaction also poses a threat to companies with poor search engine optimization. This means that their visibility to internet users will be limited. This directly affects their sales.

Effects of Technology on EMC's ability to Execute Customer Centricity. It is palpable that technology has profoundly restrained EMC’s ability to execute their customer centricity strategy. Customers have changed their approach to sales and are doing primary searches on the internet before making their purchases or approaching service providers for products. The customer centricity strategy is more oriented to addressing the customer on a one on one platform. Delivering their customer centricity online is, therefore, an uphill task since there are some details that cannot be revealed with an online approach technology. These include things like facial expression, the tone of the client, the body language and several others.

High Touch versus High Tech. With the world becoming more digital oriented, it is quite hard to stick to the old practices and produces results. It is quite clear that consumers are more inclined to search information online before placing their preferences on a product. This, therefore, prompts them to contact the servers of the product, and at times the sales are even made online. This only leaves delivery and installation as the only point of contact between the consumer and the supplier. As a result, the contact with the customer from the beginning of purchase to the end is almost impractical. Loyal customers no longer have the time to sit down for conferences or spend time for new product launchings.

Luckily, when EMC tried out an online product launch, the management was surprised to find out that the number of people who logged in for the event was more than expected. This, therefore, means that high tech can help replace high touch that the company once believed and practiced. Nonetheless, it comes with restraints more so when it comes to its delivery. High tech approach is more marketing oriented as compared to the high touch that is inclined to sales. This will lead to the need of the company to change its strategies so as to remain responsive to its dynamic market.

Critique on EMC's Methods for Measuring and Tracking Customer Satisfaction. EMC used different methods for measuring customer satisfaction. This was done through monthly surveys that required the customers to indicate whether they were satisfied with the company’s services, products, and staff. EMC also gauged company’s product quality by asking the users if they could recommend it to others, and whether they were comfortable buying other EMC products. This was a fair way of checking company’s performance and credibility in the market. The customers had the ability to air out their grievances to EMC, and the company would work on the areas where concerns were raised.

Currently, EMC is using internet enabled technology to track its customer satisfaction. The company has a user-friendly website that incorporates the involvement of both the staff and customers. EMC’s presence in the social network is also worth mentioning. EMC has a page on Facebook, Twitter and Flicker. The company not only uses these avenues for sharing out information about their products but also for tracking customer satisfaction. This proves to be a relatively fast way of finding out any complaint from a customer and responding to it with the urgency needed.

The new customer satisfaction audit approaches could also help EMC to identify the grey areas where the customers felt needs to be checked. This enhances their ability to improve on their customer centricity strategies (Avery & Steenburgh, 2011). Besides, this would go a long way into helping the company understand customer relationships. EMC current methods, however, have some associated risks and limitations. For example, they cannot control information flows within the company’s internet pages. This is because there are remarkably many people communicating especially from within to the public. This might result into a customer being handled by a wrong staff from within the company. On the other hand, when a disgruntled customer shares negative information about the company, there is no way it can be blocked. This means that every other customer will view the update. This might affect their operation to some extent.

Custom Customer Centricity and EMC's Success Essay

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