Your Customers Don’t Need You

by Audra Baker
06 December 2012

Don’t get me wrong: I love technology. I love innovative products that change the way we work, the way we play. But it’s not technology that I follow on social media. It’s not technology that I research, that I invest in. It’s the companies behind the technology. And the industry leaders performing 2-3 times better than their competitors just so happen to be the companies that put the customer at the center of their business. You see, this is due to one simple fact: Customers don’t need these companies. These companies need customers.

Back when RagingWire Data Centers installed its first cage in 2001, we were focused on customer satisfaction. We utilized an exhaustive interview process to find service-minded people. We designed our support processes to make it easy to do business with us, anticipating customer need and proactively delivering solutions to those needs. We designed our tools and products with customer delight in mind. We had the right people, the right processes, and the right technology. We even put internal controls in place to measure our customer satisfaction performance, solicit feedback, and then use that feedback to drive improvements. And it worked great, as indicated by our 96% customer satisfaction rating.

But just as our data center technology advanced (to a patented 2N+2 design enabling us to deliver 100% availability), so too did our customer satisfaction practice. We knew that expanding into a national player brought along operational complexities, all of which impacted the customer directly or indirectly. And to maintain our high service levels through these complexities required a greater commitment to our customers. It would take a commitment at the highest level of the company.  

Highest customer satisfaction rate in the data center industry.So we created a chief customer officer role at the executive level. We replaced our customer satisfaction practice with a customer experience practice. We chose industry leader Satmetrix to administer our customer loyalty program. We updated our corporate scorecard reporting to include customer loyalty metrics right along with financial and operational metrics. And we developed quarterly strategic objectives focused on cross-functional business processes and employee recognition and education. All of which is routinely presented to the board of directors.

Today, RagingWire has hundreds of customers across 650,000 square feet of data center space in California and Virginia. We have the top customer loyalty score in the data center industry. We continue to use customer experience as our operating strategy. Does your data center provider use customer experience as an operating strategy? Are they effective in executing that strategy? If your provider doesn’t treat you like they need you, maybe it’s time for a change.

Audra Baker

Director, Client Services