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The Corporate Human Ecosystem

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  • Writer's pictureHans J. Schmolke

HiFi for our customers

High Fidelity – called HiFi – is kind of synonymous with ‘unbiased transmission’, meaning the result of each and every process is a clean product . Translated into the quality of music, using feedback equates to the difference between AM and FM in the good old radio world. AM transmits lots of noise of different origin, together with the sound signal. In FM, noise has successfully and completely been eliminated. What is responsible for this big jump in quality? It is the introduction of feedback as a corrective signal.

Feedback makes it possible to neutralize errors in the transmission of the signal. This achieves a perfect adaptation of the reproduction of the tones that we here, to what Jane Birkin really sighed into the microphone.

If we now switch from music to customer interaction and apply this technique to business relationships, then this would mean that feedback can be as important to high-quality customer relationships. Actually, it must be, if feedback can be integrated in correcting the process, in a similar way. In the music industry, there used to be many attempts to eliminate the most severe sources of noise one-by-one. However, the breakthrough came only when a way was found to systematically grasp all sources of error and counter steer according to a common logic (in adequate time).

At the beginning of the digital age, our management of corporate success is at a similar threshold. Customer relationships are selectively optimized, but not subject to a common success logic. Good customer success management helps to remedy this situation and its first task is to integrate all the key points of contact. Only then is there a basis for a logic that optimizes interaction with the customer as a whole.

In traditional companies, this is difficult because significant parts of the interaction cannot be measured in a timely manner. If a customer survey takes place once a year, then the bulk of frictional losses in the customer relationship can only be measured as an effect, not at the point of its origin. But this is the prerequisite for a quality á la HiFi, so a real alignment of customer processes to the real needs.

In digital business, the conditions are different. The interaction process with the customer is consistently observable, and theoretically, quality could be measured at each process step. But, this quality first arises in the mind of the customer, and not in technical data inside the system. However, the customer assessment depends on the circumstances. The circumstances may be marked by stress, absent-mindedness, fears, worries. These again have to do with the objective of usage. In a behavioral analysis – let it be the best in smartness – there is no data about that. To get them, there is only one way: systematically involve the customer in measuring process and interaction quality.

Customer feedback is the ferment of the digital business, the decisive step on the way to a calculable success in the development of customer potential. It is the prerequisite for the individual client to feel promoted in his own goals, and not just the average of the personas (which, unfortunately, does not exist in reality). HiFi in the customer relationship has an immense business potential. But the basis for this is systematic feedback with a strict and measureable success logic. Everything else is and remains only AM style of business.

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