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Anticipate: Knowing What Customers Need Before They Do by Jeff Tobe, Bill Thomas

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Chapter 2

Doing the Right Things for the Wrong Reasons

  • Link customer focus and your growth strategy
  • Differentiate between customer behavior, satisfaction, and loyalty
  • Determine the metrics that matter the most

Interest in, support of, and resistance to customer focus can come from any number of places in a company. Just looking at the range of inquiries and requests we receive about it, we note that sometimes the interest comes from a CEO, an executive director, or a COO who wants to increase a business’s customer intimacy to grow sales, membership, or gross margin. Other times the interest might come from a senior sales leader (e.g., a sales VP, a sales GM, or a regional sales director) who is concerned about customer retention or account penetration rates, or from a chief marketing officer (CMO) who is trying to advance the organization’s brand or understand and improve its win-loss rates in new customer bids, proposals, and tenders. And yet in other situations, the impetus might come from the head of customer service or customer care, or even from a chief customer experience officer (CXO) who wants to get better traction and broader company-wide involvement in the company’s customer experience campaign.

No matter how they frame their initial questions, or what they describe as their respective reason for thinking about customer focus, the conversation with each of these different players must eventually get back to the same initial fundamental questions: What is the strategic ...

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