Table of Contents
How companies get really close to their customers
Data Recovery Service Customer orientation and customer proximity are currently in vogue. Everyone likes to put them in their mouths and claim them for themselves.
All human relationships – including those of a business nature – are based on closeness . Proximity to customers is ideal if they are not willing to deal with competing products. If it is possible to establish customer proximity, competition can be excluded and customer loyalty increased.
Satisfied customers pay higher prices for a proven source of supply – up to an acceptable limit. In addition, they are more inclined to share offer prices from competitors. Therefore, managers should know the success factors that shape customer satisfaction. In order to achieve customer proximity, Peter Winkelmann recommends in his book “Sales conception and sales control. The instruments of integrated customer management ”take the following action
- Direct contacts (e.g. field service visits, boss visits, joint dinners, birthday greetings, regular contact with technicians, regular satisfaction surveys).
- Permanent customer contact within the framework of dialogue marketing (for example, through letters, emails, fax, SMS, newsletter) or through individualized sales promotion, whereby marketing-based customer proximity is often irregular. If, on the other hand, these contacts are positively illuminated, they can acquire the status of extraordinary – and therefore particularly valuable – events.
- Joint tasks and interests (e.g. joint product development, value analysis, market research, trade fair presence).
- Capital linkages, joint ventures, alliances, corporate mergers
Proximity to the customer creates a basis for business security, but every coin has two sides. In B2B markets, being too close to customers can turn into a strategic threat. According to Werner H. Engelhardt and Jörg Freiling, there are six sources of danger:
- The in-sourcing danger : The customer notices the growing dependency on know-how on the supplier and recruits his best employees.
- The risk of lock-in : the supplier becomes completely dependent on the customer.
- The black hole harbors the risk that the provider will take major upfront risks (for example in plant engineering).
- With the greenhouse effect, there is a risk that the bank’s influence on business policy will increase.
- The outsider problem is the increasing influences from the customer’s customers as well
- the run-away risk , in which the provider falls into the cost trap or customer proximity does not lead to customer loyalty.
Employees as a benchmark – right up to loyalty
Customer surveys clarify whether the pre-purchase expectations match the post-purchase experience. Keeping an eye on competing products is also a matter of course. When it comes to customer satisfaction management , it is advisable to ask your own employees what kind of customer satisfaction they would expect. Entrepreneurs should compare this self-image with the image of others in the market. Data Recovery Service
Customer satisfaction can be measured
In the book “Market-Oriented Cost Management. Combining cost efficiency and closeness to the customer ”, emphasize the two authors Christian Homburg and Daniel Daum, that customer satisfaction should be measured regularly , which most companies fail to do.
Findings from management research show the connections between customer satisfaction and company profit . Outstanding, individually tailored service makes the purchase an experience, and customers are even willing to “dig a little deeper into their pockets”: An indication that it is worthwhile for companies to be close to and satisfied with the customer invest.
Objective measurement methods are based on events (critical incidents) and verifiable business data (business successes). The measured variables are customer development, repurchase rates, scope and quality of customer contacts, complaints, complaints, sales, earnings, and delivery share development or products developed jointly with customers.
The subjective procedures are based on the formation of judgments . Through defined questions or indirectly through conclusions (“Would you recommend us?”). While the direct form harbors a risk of manipulation, with the indirect method you run the risk of not really meeting the aspect of customer satisfaction.