23 janvier 2010

Mark Gaydos (Virtuoz) and the Sens du client

Like yourself, I feel that I should speak and write English a lot more everyday. That is why I invite you to read this new interview of Mark Gaydos who is the Vice President Marketing of the world leader Virtuoz (a French company) who recently -as the creator of the virtual agent Emma from MMA- won the prize "Miss Client" that I organized for the first time last december.
Mark is also the author of "marketing in the time of cholera", a very smart book that you can download following the previous link (I do really love this title, a reference to one of my favorite author Gabriel Garcia Marquez).

Who are you ?

M.B.A. in management science from San Diego State University and a B.A. in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, I am bringing more than 20 years of enterprise marketing and product management experience to VirtuOz. Previously, I was Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Tripwire, a leader in data center compliance and infrastructure management solutions. Prior to Tripwire, I held a variety of marketing roles at software companies, such as Oracle, SAP, and Comergent. I also am an instructor at UC Berkeley Extension where I have been teaching for over a decade – a course I founded on software product management and product marketing. 

According to you, what would define -for a company- « being customer oriented » ?
A company being customer oriented is like a beautiful painting.... you know it when you see it. There is no formula to follow. In order for a company to be customer oriented, it has to be part of the culture.... part of the DNA..... built into the “fabric” of the organization. From the executives down through the entire organization there should be a focus on “more value” for customers. Many companies claim this, but when you look at their goals, the objectives are more about revenue or market expansion but not the success of their customers. Customer oriented companies place value and customer success front and center of their goals. They know the revenue will follow.

What is your opinion about the evolution of Customer service ?

Customer service is evolving to become more proactive. What is great service? It’s a company coming to your aid even before you even need it. Too often companies try to placate their customers with the minimum amount they need to do to get the customer to go away – a reactive approach. The companies who thrive in the future at customer service will be the ones who proactively engage customers to ensure they get answers and all issues taken care of, even before customers knows they have issues.

Do you have a short story to tell us about customer service ?

Two of our largest customers at VirtuOz are always concerned with “silent sufferers”. These are people who leave their websites without getting answers. For many companies “silence is golden”, yet for these customer-service oriented companies silence is only golden if the customer has a superior experience on the web. The real question most companies should ask themselves is “are customers leaving the website satisfied or are they just leaving the website”?

Interview done by Thierry Spencer from the blog Sens du client.

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