Pay attention to customer fundamentals.

To be more successful and to thrive, pay attention to the seven customer fundamentals: Voice of the Customer, the Relationship, Customer Value, Priority Customers, Customer Profitability, Retention, the Customer Experience.

#1 Pay Attention to the Voice of the Customer

Listening to customers is fundamental. It is critical to stay close to customers, whatever the economic conditions. A one-on-one conversation is how to find out what is going on with them, how to learn what they need to be more successful—and how you can help them thrive–anytime.

#2 Pay Attention to the Relationship

People buy from people they know or know of, are comfortable with, and feel they can trust. The relationship begins before a person becomes a customer and continues well after purchase. Developing a relationship is a joint collaborative interaction process—a give and take–between the company and its people and the customer and its people that moves the relationship forward or backward.

#3 Pay Attention to Customer Value

Know what customers value. Engineer in what could create more value. Stop doing what doesn’t. Make sure everyone knows what to do when things go right or things go wrong with customers. Be sensitive to customer concerns about both time and money.

#4 Pay Attention to Top Priority Customers

Focus on customers you’d like more of. Find out what appeals to them—why they buy, why they stay or not. Use what they tell you to tell others why they are happy with you. Like attracts like.

#5 Pay Attention to Customer Profitability

Customer profitability is more important for performance than product or service profitability. Generally 20% of customers account for 80% of revenue and often more than 100% of profit.   (In reoccurring revenue businesses, the Retention percentage is even higher.)

#6 Pay Attention to Retention

The money is in Retention. Yet most companies spend much more on Acquisition. For established businesses, typically 80% of revenue is from repeat or referral business; only 20% comes from new customers. Often half of the new business gained is absorbed by attrition. Some attrition is inevitable, but a significant portion can be avoided with intelligent warranties, credit and payment policies, prompt complaint resolution, decision-making authority at lowest possible level, etc.

#7 Pay Attention to the Customer Experience

Anticipate what the Customer Experience is likely to be. Map how value is created—or destroyed—to optimize the customer relationship process. Track the Customer Experience either periodically or dynamically in real-time to predicts stronger, longer future relationships. Build intelligence into the process in an Operational CRI (Customer Relationship Intelligence) System to measure and manage the Customer Experience interaction by interaction–what you DO, what they DO—as the relationship develops. Take real-time operational control for profit and competitive advantage.

Customer Experience Wisdom: Showing up is 80% of success,” says Comedian Woody Allen. Paying attention to these customer fundamentals is also 80% of customer retention success.

Question: Which of these customer fundamentals are critical to your success? How confident are you that you’re paying as much attention to them as you should? Need a jumpstart? Be In Touch