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Customer Strategy

What is a customer strategy?
In a customer strategy, the focus is on the customer. The better a customer is understood by a company, the better the company can provide value to that customer. We call this customer value.

What is a customer strategy?
In a customer strategy, the focus is on the customer. The better a customer is understood by a company, the better the company can provide value to that customer. We call this customer value.

The typical output of a customer strategy is a customer persona or detailed customer journey. This persona reflects the most important descriptors of the target group. This is very valuable knowledge for making strategic decisions. If all goes well, the most important decisions made within a company are filtered through the customer’s lens.

As is often the case, especially with strategies, simplicity works better. There are companies that want to imbue up to ten different customer segments with a persona. Still, the companies that have only 1 or 2 persona defined usually do better when it comes to their customer value proposition.

A good, comprehensive customer strategy has multiple functions and includes multiple practices and skills. It should in any case include data collection. Examples of different customer strategies are:

  • Customer-focused strategy
  • Customer digital strategy
  • Customer experience strategy
  • Customer retention strategy
  • Customer acquisition strategy
  • Customer communication strategy

PWC defines a customer strategy as the articulation of the distinctive value of a brand or product.

9 principles of a good customer strategy

Adopt the 9 principles below and develop an effective customer strategy.

1. Master the art of the possible

Always be aware of the latest developments in the market. Technology breakthroughs are now commonplace in almost every industry and sector, so customers regularly expect major change.

The most successful and large companies are constantly experimenting with new innovations and studying how they can make the customer’s life better. Customers appreciate it when a brand or company succeeds time and again. This ensures both the successful acquisition of new customers and the retention of existing customers.

This principle does not say that you should actively ask customers what they expect from the future. They can’t tell you this either.

2. Know the customer

Again, the most successful companies go further than most other companies. For example, they develop advanced customer relationship systems and customer analytics that are based on multiple sources, such as customer behavior information, psychographics, geographic data and even real-time data about consumer digital use.

3. Link the customer strategy to the overall identity of the organization

A strong value proposition is indispensable for a strong company. This is the value offered to the customer, which the competition cannot match.

Delivering on this promise requires a range of distinctive capabilities and skills to be deployed. It is only possible to form an own identity if these all work together smoothly.

4. Focus on the customers you have the right to win

If you now have a strong brand identity, you don’t have to compete in every possible market. Only focus on the markets where you are confident you will succeed. The value proposition will be strong enough to appeal to a group of consumers that will be profitable. If you don’t, you risk investing resources and time in a group of indifferent consumers with a low conversion rate.

5. Treat Customers Like Assets

Building lasting and constructive customer relationships is essential for a successful organization. They continue to focus on developing value that customers identify with. Building lasting customer relationships is a long-term activity. That means it goes against some philosophies like the pursuit of short-term returns.

Analyzing the purchase journey that customers go through provides new insights into what is needed to achieve the above. We also call this the customer journey.

6. Capitalize on the company’s existing ecosystem

Companies operate in an extensive network of relationships. Together, these relationships form an ecosystem. Players in this system are, for example, customers, but also suppliers, retailers, industry associations, distributors, government agencies and other stakeholders.

This ecosystem can be used in various ways to attract customers.

7. Ensure a consistent experience

Many companies are active with different channels. This is also called omnichannel, for example a webshop and a physical store. Successful companies ensure that these channels are consistent when it comes to customer experiences, positioning and service level. The result is a seamless experience for the customer, so that shopping has the same look & feel everywhere.

8. Excel on delivery

The way in which the physical delivery of products takes place, but also some services, is crucial for keeping customers happy. Companies like Amazon excel in this process. They promise same-day delivery for some regions and products, experiment with drone delivery or delivery on Sundays and evenings.

Increasingly, this is also what customers expect from their favorite brand or company.

9. Reorganize the business with the customer as the focus

‘Be fit for your customer’ is a frequently heard statement when it comes to what an organization should look like. The business processes should be designed in such a way that it is easy to deliver a sublime customer experience. If the above principles have been successfully completed, the organization will already have a clear idea of the customer target group, corporate identity and business capabilities. Make sure that the company is designed in such a way that these matters are central.

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