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What’s the ideal B2B customer relationship?

June 6, 2016
Water taxi view after dinner with customers and colleagues. Fun night.

Water taxi view after dinner with customers and colleagues. Fun night.

Last week I attended a two-day Customer Advisory Board meeting with nine of our customers from industries including Distribution, Retail, Higher Ed, Healthcare, and Manufacturing. The question we were most anxious to get insight on is “How can Kronos services be more of a strategic partner to your organization?”

We spent time talking about our current services and the customer experience. We also covered areas of potential services to help customers get more value from their Kronos platform. When investing in Kronos, most customers are primarily focused on controlling labor costs, minimizing compliance risk, and/or improving workforce productivity. Still, in all three areas there is incredible depth and breadth of value to be realized. One customer’s metaphor nailed it:

“I only use 10% of my phone.” Help me leverage more. Also, what partners or ISV’s can help me do the same?”

Another customer, one who leads the very mature use of Workforce Central across his global enterprise helped really sum up the overall sentiment:

“Help us understand the true value chain.”

The conversation was open and free-flowing across an afternoon, into a fun dinner and on through to a morning session. There was excellent chemistry across the group right from the start. To open the last morning session, we wondered “What are the attributes of the best technology partners you’ve had?” It was nice to hear some customers mention Kronos during that discussion. We heard about commitment: “At times we couldn’t tell who was on our team and who was on theirs.” As our 24 hours were coming to an end, I looked around the room and thought about the conversations, stories, and laughs we had experienced together. In a short time, we had begun to build relationships as a working unit all focused on the same positive outcomes. That’s when the title of this post was spoken by a customer. If you want to be a partner, be a partner. And the attributes of those best technology partners?

“It’s a marriage. It’s not a date.”

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