“It’s not you, it’s me”

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When relationships end, it’s tough for both parties. An emotionally difficult time; usually hardest for the one that hears those soft-but-harsh words, “it’s not you, it’s me.” As much as you may not like to be on the receiving end of that statement, it’s true. You’re just not qualified to be in a relationship with us and it’s better that you know that now.  

We don’t want customers to have a digital asset management experience with us when we already know they will not have the enjoyable experience we want them to have. That’s not their fault, we turn down lots of organizations. Prospective customers have specific expectations that they have shared with us and our screening process reveals that we cannot make them happy.  

We make lots of customers happy though, because we are focused, deliberate, and attentive to areas where we can make a difference. We have another record year of new customers joining us coupled by a retention rate of over 98%. Wow! A common response to that is the general statement, “you guys must be doing something right.” Something as in one thing: fit.

“It’s Not You, It’s Me”

Prospective customers that come to us need to fit. They need to fit our culture, people, product, service, technology, innovation, creativity, philosophy, values, and sustainability model. Customers that fit have a joyful experience, they express happiness, stay engaged, and maintain loyalty. These customers send us unsolicited notes about how great it is to work with our team. They come to our user summit in Madison with gigantic smiles seeking out specific people for knowledge and to express their gratitude. We screen for that very early in our process because if we don’t determine fit, we cannot make customers happy.

Our passion is to create an enjoyable customer experience. We’re not in the marketing technology business to close the deal. We’re in this business to bring joy to customers and we can’t do that when expectations fall outside of our ability to deliver on customer happiness. In the spirit of Peter Drucker, his purpose-of-business reference screams to me, “the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

DAM right. We’re just not creating demand or “creating a customer” for us (by educating the market on the benefits of digital asset management), we’re creating demand for whoever has the best fit. Even though we have inspired someone to enter the digital asset management procurement process, our industry counterparts might be a better fit to serve that customer. That’s fantastic; I hope our counterparts make them happy and keep them, their lives will be more rewarding as a result.  

We need to be able to “keep the customer,” but by keep we interpret as keeping them satisfied, creating a joyful experience. We discuss our satisfaction surveys and drivers of customer satisfaction at length. We know the drivers, we know the areas to advance in order to capture more customers. We know more customers want to be DAM happy with Widen and we’re working on it. We have made product management changes internally to serve that purpose; to more aggressively expand the quantity of customers we can make happy.

If we cannot make a customer happy, then we end the relationship, before the customer spends an additional minute with us. Our discovery process and request-for-proposal reviews are intensive. Highly-qualified, trusted-talent sitting no more than 20-feet from me determines if we have what it takes to make a customer happy.  

We know this drives some people crazy. We have heard from several in the industry that believe our declining of demos, proposals, and request-for-proposals is a poor business practice, a sign of weakness. We don’t demo everyone because we already know a demo doesn’t change what we learned in the discovery process: we cannot bring joy to their digital asset management experience. We don’t fill out RFP’s and provide detailed pricing because that won’t change our ability to bring joy to their experience.  

I am celebrating our awesome business practice of making sure we bring joy to customers! Record amounts of new customers and retention rates in excess of 98% indicates our screening process works and our product advancement targets are effective. Don’t be offended if we say no, after all, “it’s not you, it’s me.”

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