more More, MORE!

You’re spending all your time trying to please customers who never seem happy.

Reading Seth Godin’s more More, MORE! could throw some light.

Seth Godin is right:

YOU WANT TO FOCUS YOUR ENERGY ON PLEASING YOUR TRULY REWARDING CUSTOMERS. IF IT’S NOT CLEAR EXACTLY WHO THEY ARE, MAKE SURE YOU’RE SPENDING ENOUGH TIME ON YOUR CORE POINTS OF DISTINCTION.

The challenge of winning more than your fair share of the market is that the best available strategy–providing remarkable service and an honest human connection–will be abused by a few people you work with.

You have three choices: put up with the whiners, write off everyone, or, deliberately exclude the ungrateful.

“FIRING THE CUSTOMERS YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY PLEASE GIVES YOU THE BANDWIDTH AND RESOURCES TO CODDLE THE ONES THAT TRULY DESERVE YOUR ATTENTION AND REPAY YOU WITH REFERRALS, APPLAUSE AND LOYALTY.”

If you’re going to “fire” customers, how can you be be sure that you’re only dumping those customers you can’t possibly please?

You could try to segment with price deals, but that could be a very bad idea.

In When Customer Loyalty Is a Bad Thing, Timothy Keiningham and Lerzan Aksoy tell us that “only 20% of a firm’s customers are actually profitable. And often most of a company’s profitable customers are not loyal.”

The authors continue:

“PROFITABLE LOYAL CUSTOMERS ON THE OTHER HAND ARE ALMOST ALWAYS DRIVEN BY DIFFERENTIATING ASPECTS OF OUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE OFFERING. THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL LOYALTY STRATEGY IS TO BECOME CRYSTAL CLEAR AS TO WHAT THESE ARE, AND TO FOCUS ON TANGIBLY IMPROVING THESE ELEMENTS.”

Or, as Peter Drucker says:

“The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it’s selling him.”

 

Re-examine the customer value proposition

This is a prospective area that may provide yet another cost reduction opportunity and at the same time attract potential niche segment customers from outside the current market space. A company when it compares the value proposition that it offers against the attributes that customers really value, new insights and opportunities may open up.

Such a study may reveal some factors on which the company may be incurring substantial expenditure and yet the customers do not care about the particular feature or facility.

Cutting on such frills may help in improving the bottom line. Most popular no frills strategy is pursued by Southwest Airlines which based its strategy on clear understanding of the segment of customers and the competitive value proposition that this segment was being offered.

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