Jim Champy is the Chairman of Perot Systems. He is writing a book series. Outsmart! was released last year and Inspire! Why Customers Come Back was recently published. Consulting magazine has a Q&A with Champy.
"I actually think this series is all the more important in an economy like this because companies cannot go back to doing business as usual. In fact, they won’t go back to doing business as usual."
Are you still doing business like you did in 2002 or 2005?
"And I’d argue that it’s more relevant in recessionary times because keeping your customers—and inspiring them—is absolutely critical. The only way you grow, frankly, is by stealing someone else’s customers. In good times, customers always seem to be there, but in these times, you’ve really got to keep your customers and inspire them to come back."
Retaining customers is important. Staying in front of them is important. Turning customers into fans is revenue generating!
"Sure, but I don’t think the answer in a recession is lower price, and I don’t think simple discounting works today; you can discount yourself out of business."
It isn't about Price alone. It's about Value.
" companies are no longer in control of—or at least the way it used to think it was in control of—its image in the marketplace. The consumer, enabled by the Internet, is now controlling it and is much more expressive about your company, your products, your services than ever before."
Social media and User Generated Content have changed the game. Amazon and TripAdvisor reviews. GetSatisfaction.com. Blogs. Twitter. Facebook. It's amazing the value of UGC and reviews. Word of Mouth has been taken to a new level by social media platforms and websites. It doesn't matter if you want to play the game, everyone else is playing with or without you.
"I think we’ll see more of an appreciation of what good service really demands. The big challenge will be how to pay for it."
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