In our MUST-DO Strategies post we highlighted that to meet today’s challenges for high quality sustainable growth CEOs are focusing their strategies on Human Capital, Customer Relations and Operational Excellence. Let’s look at Customer Relations – What do they REALLY value?
Creating a strong culture around customers is one of the critical drivers in meeting the multiple challenges facing industry today. What do we believe customers really want/need: Price or Value? If you believe that the only thing they cherish is the price then don’t read anything further. If you believe that they are looking for value than read on!
The tendency of our traditional sales and business development efforts is to push services and benefits to our customers. Try changing the game. Ask customers what they really value and what their expectations for value are. You may be surprised that the answers. If you asked this question of your management you might get different responses but in the end customers want to know if you are the type of company that can trust to get the job done! They’re always looking for the A-Team at the lowest price! Give them more of what they really value!
The strategies that CEOs are looking to related to Customer Relationships focuses on the following areas:
- Relationships – Leadership should personally engage with key customers and clients to establish the foundation of trust, value, accessibility and commitment.
- Quality – Customers are looking for quality in the products and services. Consider what quality is costing you and your clients. What would you look for if you were in their shoes?
- Culture – If you look internally and develop a more outward looking customer centric culture in your organization what would you expect the customer’s response to be?
- Speed – Time is money! The current market has created a need for speed and reduced waste! The quicker you can deliver a quality product, the higher value for your client and a more competitive advantage for your success.
- Differentiation – Use competitive intelligence to identify your differentiators inline with what the customer really want, need and value. This will help you create your market leverage and success.
YES, clients are pushing for cost reductions in today’s marketplace. However, if he believes that he’s getting a great deal and meeting his expectations, he’ll pay for it! Raising the focus on delivering better value requires innovative solutions throughout your entire business system in order to reach your full potential. It will also reduce waste and risk while increasing your margin potential, growth and shareholder value.
NOW, ask yourself and your teams these questions: What are we selling? What are our customer’s problems? How can we solve these problems in a unique or better fashion? Do we understand their expectations? Have we a differentiated offering? Are we asking the RIGHT questions and ARE we listening? Do we have a culture fit and relationship?