April 18, 2006

A Tale of Two Companies

There are two companies - Company X and Company Y. Both are in the same industry. Yet over an identical time frame X has been ten times as successful as its cohort. Why? Anyone with a subscription to a business magazine has ability to put forward possible answers.

Perhaps it's the quality of leadership, or the tactics they employed. It could be due to the differences in use of technology or spending/investment strategies. But X and Y are much the same on all counts. Additionally both have great websites with high pagerank, and superb marketing programs. But there is one significant difference. I'll get to that in a moment.

In my opinion the essence of survival and success is the ability of an organization to acquire new clients and retain current ones. Most companies get this and have taken the right steps. But the difference is that Company Y failed in the "last mile" in this process.

In the traditional context the "last mile" is the final leg of delivering connectivity from a communications provider to a customer. Here I use the phrase to refer to the end game of marketing, websites and direct response....that moment of truth when people become clients. It's when they call or email for info and buy your product or service.

Calls and emails into Company Y fail to get through. Y responds to email inconsistently and their phone system is so customer unfriendly, it literally repels callers that are ready to buy.

Do you work for Company X or Y? Its time to tune up your "last mile".

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1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts about the 'last mile' in business. I'm surprised that so many technology companies shun that last mile. Especially in regards to talking to people on the phone. I used to be that way, but at our company, we have moved consciously from a company Y to a company X, and on Mar 1, we enabled telephone support for all our customers. So many try to move the other way, to force emails, or 'self-serve' models of support. Do the 'last mile', let your customers actually talk to you (and telephone is still the most preferred method), and you'll be surprised what happens.

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