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“And the NorthFace Award goes to…”

February 27, 2012

Last night I watched the Academy Awards show for the first time in… well, a long time. From my detached perspective, it was obvious the Hollywood establishment loves George Clooney. They love Brad and Angelina and “Marty,” too, but George got the most face time. Frankly, I see too much of the guy. It must be just a coincidence that most films my girlfriend wants to see have Mr. Clooney in them, right? I think the guy is a decent actor, and “The Descendents” was pretty good, but did he really deserve a “Best Actor” nomination, with all the movies and all the actors to choose from? Was his one of the five best performances in a year? Well, yes, because the subjective nominations were by the Hollywood establishment and are more about marketing their products than a truly objective measurement of quality.

In technology, industry and analyst accolades can help give a company a bump in Sales, but over the long term, it’s the actual experience of customers that determines lasting success. Kronos has been a technology company since founder Mark Ain invented the computerized time clock 34 years ago, and since then we’ve served thousands of customers and have done so profitably for nearly 25 consecutive years. That doesn’t happen by luck or because Gartner puts us in the good part of a quadrant. It happens because our products, services and people have consistently enabled our customers to effectively manage their most precious asset – their workforce, for over 3 decades. In 2012, consistent delivery of a high-quality experience is even more critical today as customers consume more technology via cloud services. A recent article by Steve Denning in Forbes captured this phenomenon perfectly:

“In this emerging world, firms like Salesforce succeed if they continuously delight their customers. Otherwise customers leave. Salesforce has been pre-eminently successful in this regard, by tightly focusing from the outset on enabling its customers’ success. Making money (i.e. “getting a share of the customers’ wallets”) is a result of their activities, not the goal.”

One way we objectively hold ourselves accountable is by asking our customers to rate their Kronos experience through formal survey. In May, the Omega Management Group will hold its annual awards for customer satisfaction excellence. Omega audits and certifies the legitimacy of customer satisfaction measurement in an organization. Kronos will be one of three eleven-time consecutive recipients of their “NorthFace” award, hoping for a 12th.

The way the industry is headed, our future success depends on it.

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