Dictionary.com defines passion as “any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.” So, if that’s passion then what comes with it? In my opinion: focus, learning, interest and continuous improvement. Passionate individuals and organizations never stop learning, and in terms of customers, your passionate ones are often those that are most loyal, vocal, and importantly, most valuable.
I’ve got a long list of things that I’m passionate about, I don’t want to bore you, but on there would be: UK chocolate, Wagamama (delicious noodle house in the UK… unfortunately not available in Chicago. Sad face), Scotland, NFL Football (Bear Down!) and of course marketing. On marketing, and specifically event management, I’ve always been passionate about it and I like to think I always will be. I did it for 4 years many moons ago at university, have worked in this field since graduation, and everyday know that this is the job for me. I’m not saying there aren’t days when marketing and event management isn’t the top of my fav list – ask some of my colleagues in the CDM Media Chicago office, the stories they could tell! But to this day, I’ve never got home and started looking into how I change careers to become a dentist, carpenter or Shetland Pony Breeder. In fact, with my passion comes an interest in advancing my knowledge and performance, and in turn improving myself, my team, and the products and services that we as CDM Media can provide to our customers.
In my opinion, for organizations that want to make waves in their industry, and stand out as the best, one of the secrets is to get passionate about your customers, and make them get passionate about you. Care about how they get treated, learn about what they want, and then go out of your way to deliver it! Don’t just find out why they like you, find out why they love you. And when you know why they love you, make sure you’re delivering these products/services/traits to them, and others like them, in spades. Go beyond what is expected or required, show off your passion and theirs will follow.
At CDM Media being passionate about our customers, our attending delegates, and our products is a way of life. Nothing gets me more excited than connecting with our clients and being able to ‘go beyond the call of duty’ by delivering a superior level of service and understanding. Within the Client Services and Event Management team we don’t rest on our laurels, but we certainly don’t do just enough to get by. I’m surrounded by a highly talented team that everyday comes into the office determined to go out of their way to over deliver and ‘wow’ on all levels. We want to be the best and provide the best to our customers, so in turn they become as passionate about our products and services as we are. Beyond anything, passion is infectious – creating a product and service level which elevates CDM Media to where customers are feeling that passion enables us as a company to stand out against the many competitors who just don’t get the importance of going that extra mile.
Every company needs to find the passionate voices out there, and let them know you’re not only listening to them, but taking on their comments and feedback. At CDM Media we listen to our customers. Our feedback plan is wide reaching, but includes surveys, checkpoints with our CEO, bi-weekly calls with our clients to cover outstanding actions or to just say ‘hi’. These all work together to form a strategy that culminates in action. Most of all, that is the key; to do something. Passion isn’t something you can just say you are and that’s that. Action speaks louder than words, and not just one-off action, but continuous action. Anything less is just lip service.
I know it’s not as simple as ‘getting it done’, and many ducks need to be in a row for this to happen – including Executive support, people, budgets etc. However, without a vision, and a commitment to achieving that vision, the norm will remain just that – normal, beige, ‘just ok’. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of many examples of cutting edge companies that are ‘just ok’…. and for Rachel Tait, the Client Services and Event Management Team, and CDM Media, just ok isn’t an option.