Standing on stage at SMG Client Connect this month really made me appreciate how much the CX industry—and our company—has grown in the past few years. From our first UK client event with just a handful of brands to this month’s gathering of nearly 100 CX professionals, we’re in the midst of an exciting transformation.
Our client partnerships have everything to do with this growth and innovation. Coming together to celebrate this success at Client Connect is always a highlight of my year—and with more than 80% of our UK clients attending, it’s clear I’m not the only one. From inspirational client speakers and thought-provoking roundtables to our annual Top Partnership Insight awards, Client Connect was the perfect combination of celebrating all we’ve accomplished and envisioning what we’ll achieve next.
Our keynote speaker, Rory Sutherland, spoke brilliantly around the theme of innovation. What resonated most with the audience was the phrase, “The opposite of a good idea is often another good idea.” He made a very great point that in a business culture commonly dominated by financiers, creativity is often stifled by those looking to justify the return. When you think about this, it is clear that such an approach will clearly limit innovation, and the resulting impact will likely be far less exciting than the creator originally planned.
However, in an environment that is clearly challenging, surely the one aspect we all need to stand out from our competitors is something creative, innovative, or different. The opposite of the Nokia 6210 was the iPhone. The opposite of a Hoover was the Dyson. Customers didn’t know they wanted these, but fortunately Steve Jobs and James Dyson embraced the concept of prioritising creativity and innovation ahead of economic theory and accounting. In this way, they had a better understanding of what customers would want, thus creating future loyalty and business growth.
And in a similar way, many of our clients are now enjoying the fact that having a better understanding of what customers want—and using insights to drive action—will help create future loyalty and ultimately lead to better business outcomes.
In the current climate, there is no doubt that better business outcomes are what we’re all striving for. And as we witnessed at this year’s Client Connect in London, this can be achieved when we continue asking the right questions, pushing the right people to see the insights, and ensuring the right actions are taken.
Thank you to all those clients who took time to join us at Client Connect—our team was truly honoured to be surrounded by so many fantastic brands that genuinely put customers at the heart of their business.Jeremy Michael | Managing Director