Gartner Research

Engaging the Customer

Published: 01 April 2008

ID: G00157699

Analyst(s): Richard Hunter , Tina Nunno


With enterprises focused on growth, customer engagement is more important than ever. CIOs are expanding external relationships through direct customer touch, basing IT customer engagement on the business growth strategy and customer value proposition.

Table Of Contents


Executive summary

  • Enterprises are focused on customers
  • Find IT’s role in the customer engagement model
  • Fulfill the promise of the engagement model

Enterprises are focused on customers

  • Growth, a top priority, depends on customers
  • CIOs have an opportunity to increase their engagement with customers
  • Five engagement models are available to meet the needs of customers and the enterprise
  • The engagement model has depth and breadth
  • The engagement model is associated with a value proposition

Find IT’s role in the customer engagement model

  • Use the power of observation
  • Observation is all the CIO touch required for transactional and demographic customers
  • Personalized customers have given the company a “handshake” and expect something special in return
  • Contributing customers need direct IT support to solve complex technological problems for themselves
  • Partnering customers need direct IT interfaces from the CIO down, and from the word go
  • Choose IT’s role by focusing on the engagement model and the value proposition
  • Use every engagement model that makes sense for you and the customer
  • Watch for changes in relationships or value propositions that demand changes in the CIO’s role

Fulfill the promise of the engagement model

  • When the customer engages, everything changes
  • Understand the magnitude of change required by engagement
  • Use the business perspectives model to examine the detailed implications of engagement
  • Build architectures and infrastructures for the engagement model from the bottom up
  • Support the most engaged customers with a strong team of business analysts
  • Prepare to engage

Appendix: Case studies

  • Case Study: Adam Sarner, Gartner principal research analyst—The new world of two-way engagement with customer personas
  • Case Study: Kuoni Travel Holding—Increasing the value of customer engagement
  • Case Study: Judi Edwards, Gartner senior program director and former CIO at CoatCo, DenCo and JewelCo—CIOs generate business value when they get close to the customer
  • Case Study: DHL Logistics—New value propositions through engaging customers
  • Case Study: Cisco—Engaging customers as trusted advisors
  • Case Study: Mike Kennedy, Gartner executive partner and former CIO of CorpCreditCo and APTaxCo— Leveraging direct customer contact to build business value, credibility and trust for the CIO and IT
  • Case Study: Patrick Meehan, Gartner VP and research director, and former CIO of LuxCo—Customer intimacy in the luxury market
  • Case Study: Chartered Semiconductor—Customer engagement for collaborative development
  • Case Study: Chickasaw Nation—Customer engagement through electronic personalized customer awareness
  • Case Study: Roger Acton, Gartner VP and executive partner, and former CIO of PieCo U.K., RestCo and WineCo—CIOs generate business value as the voice of the customer

Further reading

  • Gartner EXP reports
  • Core research
  • Books

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