Strategies for Deep Customer Engagement
As part of the deeper engagement, how to do a strategic analysis of the customer that could help in anticipative dialogue on the ‘future’ contours of the customer’s business, gain valuable insights as well as earn credibility with the customer is outlined in this chapter. Homework about the customer, the encyclopedic list of things to know and to prepare for concepts like data mining, brand analysis, being the customer’s ‘scribe’ and developing ‘mock-up’ sales scenarios are some of the powerful ideas in this chapter. We discuss how companies can and must build in processes to ensure that there is a customer touch-action on a regular basis, through appropriate milestoning, closing and incentive strategies. Other aspects dealt with include fortifying the sales arguments with testimonials, field test results, market successes, mechanisms to consciously manage run-up to projects, actively involving the customer, opportunity for vendors to share enormous knowledge with the customer, the true concept of ‘stakeholdership’ when customers do well and your product or service plays its part in that achievement. We also introduce readers to tools like ‘customer stability analysis’, building enduring businesses and maximizing the share of wallet, the total basket versus individual pieces of business or transactions and the need to be fully visible, proactive and responsive when problems arise. Maintaining an optimum local touch in global organizations is discussed—the pros and cons and protocols of this vital strategic decision.