We've spent a lot of time in the past year looking at how the customer intelligence services landscape is changing. For one thing, it's a heck of a lot more chaotic: everyone from management consultants to systems integrators to KPO vendors is putting a stake in the ground of CI services. We've also seen a dramatic shift in the way some digital & direct agencies and database MSPs are thinking about their most strategic client relationships. This change has been so noticeable that, a few months ago, we actually published research that defines a new business model: The Customer Engagement Agency (CEA). 

It's no surprise that clients and vendors alike are excited about this model. These agencies help elevate customer intelligence within the client organization. They bring attention and focus to the importance of customer knowledge, and they work hard at infusing that knowledge throughout every customer touchpoint. They measure customer value, not just marketing campaigns. And they help clients use CI to answer questions about everything from product development to logistics and resource management. 

But, this is an emerging market — the players are evolving from very different backgrounds; they offer substantially different "value-added" capabilities; and many of them have proprietary methods and models that make it hard to compare apples to apples. 

That's why we've just kicked off a Customer Engagement Agency WaveTM that will publish in the fall. If you're intrigued with the idea of working with a CEA, I encourage you to:

  1. Evaluate your organization for readiness to work with a CEA, because they're not for every client. You can read more about this, and take our CEA Readiness Self-Test, here.
  2. Schedule an inquiry to discuss your needs and your organization and to learn more about how the CEA model works in practice. 
  3. Read the WaveTM when it's published, and use the embedded tool to align your needs with the diverse capabilities of the agencies represented.

In the meantime, I encourage your input and feedback — is a CEA something you've been waiting for? Are you likely to work with one? Why or why not?