DEEP Insight

The Rise of the Customer Centric Firm Premium

Traditional marketing is not enough: Follow these strategies for putting your customers front and center.

This executive dossier includes the following articles:

When Giving Your Customers Less Is More Premium

Not All Are Worthy

Fader, Peter

Contrary to popular belief, most of the world's household brands are not customer-centric; they're product-centric, which isn't enough anymore. Companies may say they care about the customer; they may even have installed a CRM system - but that's the problem. Customer friendliness is not the same thing as aligning your entire company's development and delivery of products and services with the current and future needs of a select set of customers in order to maximize their long-term financial value to the firm. Turning CRM into a data-gathering exercise run by IT is not the same thing as extracting value-added insight into your focal customers. This article debunks many of the myths surrounding customer centricity, showing how managers need to recontextualize the role of CRM as part of a wider customer-centric strategy. Understanding, first of all, that there is tremendous heterogeneity among your customers, and that, consequently, some customers deserve less, and it is okay to give them less, presents a radically different approach from the way most companies operate. Customer-centric firms do not just acknowledge this truth, they actually celebrate it, because they understand that it offers immense opportunities and maximum profits in the long term.

Reading the Signs of Your Customer Value Premium

Customer Equity Dashboard

Villanueva, Julián

Companies sometimes make short-term marketing decisions without understanding the longer-term implications for their customer base. A company that does not know the value of its customers risks overspending on acquiring low-value customers or pursuing activities that have little influence on customer behavior; it may concentrate on revenue without taking acquisition and retention costs into account. In this article, the author explains how to design and implement a customer equity dashboard that will serve to pinpoint exactly where the company is gaining and losing value. A good customer equity dashboard will be of service, not only to sales and marketing professionals, but also to senior executives, boards of directors, investors and creditors, as sales and marketing expenditure is linked to overall financial performance.

Finding Service Gaps in the Age of e-Commerce Premium

SERVQUAL Revisited

Parasuraman, A.

Thirty years after developing the well-known SERVQUAL scale, the author revisits the original framework in light of the growing role of technology in service delivery. As more and more people turn to the Internet to purchase goods and services, he and his colleagues have recognized the need to adapt the SERVQUAL framework to the realities of the online experience; specifically, to measure the extent to which a website facilitates efficient and effective shopping, purchasing and delivery, with the aim of improving the service quality of websites. This has led to the development of e-SERVQUAL, as well as the technology readiness index to segment customers. As many enterprises move into new sales formats, such as integrating online and brick-and-mortar retail services, they would do well to find out what customers really value. Many companies, the author feels, are tapping into new technologies only insofar as to cut costs or collect huge amounts of customer data, which they tend to dump into storage. This article shows how tried-and-tested assessment tools can help give your firm's service efforts much-needed direction and focus in this age of big data.

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