In a recent client engagement, I noticed that the group's discussions kept sliding around a number of different topics that were all customer-related but which belonged in different buckets and to different organizational owners. The assembled executives were ostensibly tackling issues related to "optimizing the customer experience that we deliver to different groups of customers." But the topics that kept reappearing in the discussion included: "making it easy for customers to do business with us," "customer segmentation," "optimizing customer experience based on customer profitability," "improving cross-channel customer experience," "getting the Voice of the Customer into Six Sigma projects earlier," "innovation," "organic growth," "setting IT priorities," "setting e-business strategy," and "customer portals."
I was completely comfortable, swimming in this milieu––it's where I live and breathe. But my new clients were disoriented and confused. They needed a map. So I gave them the one I've been carrying around in my head and my gut for quite some time. It helped a lot.