Customer Strategy and Organisational Performance do not work in isolation. When they work together systemically with trust as their foundation, they create a cycle of increasing and sustainable mutual value.
Peter Lavers explains The Customer Attuned ‘Infinity Loop’ of Customer Centricity.
Short-termism or Sustained Mutual Value?
At Customer Attuned we are all about building better B2B relationships that drive mutual commercial value.
Please stop reading if you only care about this quarter’s sales results and only value customers and prospects for what you can sell to them now.
However, if your strategic horizon is longer than your bonus cycle then we believe that you’ve got to be joined-up in your culture, strategy, customer management and ways of working, with TRUST sitting at the heart.
We refer to this as being customer centric and in B2B we believe that long-term success is underpinned by trust-based relationships with customers, partners and colleagues. This is outplayed in your both your Customer Strategy and how you organise to deliver it (your Organisational Performance).
Trust is a key dynamic in B2B relationship success, that works on a multi-level context on both sides of the relationship; we believe this whole heartedly and have had our research academically approved. You can read more about Dr Mark Hollyoake’s ground breaking work on B2B Trust on our website.
Why an Infinity Loop?
Your Customer Strategy and Organisational Performance do not work in isolation. When they work together systemically with trust as their foundation, they create a cycle of increasing and sustainable mutual value.
The use of an infinity loop also reminds us that customer centricity is a journey, not a destination because the market landscape and customer needs are ever changing and evolving – and we must be constantly adapting to them to maintain and develop trust.
Six key elements of customer centricity
- Customer Management. We need to turn our good intentions for the way we will manage the customer experience into reality through effective segmentation, treatment, and servicing of customers that reflects their needs and value. This will lead to more cost-effective customer acquisition and retention; improved satisfaction rates; and better long-term customer profitability
- Sales & Account Management. A minority of large accounts often deliver enormous value, and we need consistency in how KAM teams operate, and how the other customers are managed appropriately. Best-in-class Account Management programmes provide consistency in your commercial approach, effective planning, KAM competencies and compelling communications
- Trust Evaluation & Development. We need to understand, protect and commercialise the trust that has been earned, shifting from “selling stuff” to being trusted advisers co-creating solutions to our clients’ business problems. We must never compromise trust in the chase for sales performance, market share or cost cutting
- Embedded Trust. If trust is inconsistent or has broken down within the company then it can become a “battle of wills” that affects client relationships and company performance. For trust to be truly embedded everybody needs a common understanding about what it is and why it’s important. This leads to more alignment, collaboration and commitment, and less silo behaviours, politics, short-termism and back-covering
- Business Capabilities. Customer centricity and trust mustn’t just be nice words in your vision statement! A systemic approach (end-to-end and joined-up) engineered into your corporate purpose, culture, operating system and processes will deliver value via compelling, relevant, and omnichannel experiences to customers, suppliers, staff, partners and intermediaries.
- Training & Development. All of the above needs people! Successful B2B companies equip their staff with the right skills and capabilities to build and manage trust-based relationships that uphold the brand promise. A suite of training programmes is required to focus on the key areas of sales and customer management that will make the difference
Get in touch
Have you embedded trust into the way you operate; joined up your capabilities; trained your staff; and aligned your account teams and customer management practices? Are you evaluating trust, or taking it for granted?
Please get in touch to discuss how we can help you develop more trust-based customer relationships for sustained mutual value.