As our CEO, Diane Hessan, is fond of saying, “If you like our client list, you should see our non-client list.” With names on our roster such as Kraft Foods, Bank of America, Microsoft and about 100 more great brands, our clients are only a handful of the companies who would benefit from having their customers at their fingertips. Consider the following companies who are our non-clients:
- Approximately 462 of the FORTUNE 500
- Approximately 83 of Interbrand’s list of the top 100 Best Global Brands
- And not one of the Big Three, four or five automakers
So why aren’t these companies our clients? In some cases, they are our competitors’ clients. Given the growth of our competitive space in recent years, this is a reasonable answer … albeit a partial one. Even if we added our competitors’ client lists to our own, it would put only a small dent into the non-client numbers.
OK, so maybe it’s about the cost. However, considering the amount of money these companies budget for marketing and R&D, to include a customer community strategy somewhere in the mix … we’re still talking small potatoes. Take for example, H&R Block, a non-client and Number 493 on the FORTUNE 500. The company recorded revenue of $4.2 billion in 2009. A fairly typical community investment would equal about 0.008 percent of H&R Block’s revenues. We’d love H&R Block to be on our client list and we think they’d love being there.
In today’s customer-in-control, innovate-or-die, speed-is-everything culture, there really isn’t a good reason NOT to engage a select group of your customers (current and/or prospective) in a private community designed to help you grow your business.
In my role at Communispace, I get to see every day how companies are transforming their businesses by actively listening to their customers. They are learning and adapting … and getting breakthrough results in the process.
If you are one of the hundreds of companies on our non-client list, I’d like to invite you to join our rapidly expanding client list. You’ll be in good company.
VP, Business Strategy