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

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Chapter 5

Input Is Vital—But Involvement Multiplies the Value

  • Move from points of parity, to differentiation, to unique value propositions
  • Level II Teaming—turning touch points into sources of value
  • Customer engagement techniques that work

Many companies stay at Level I for several years, and others never progress. That fact itself isn’t necessarily bad. If a supplier company has a solid mechanism in place to reveal, effectively resolve, and recover from customer complaints and concerns, that may be sufficient for them. This is especially true if they are not experiencing problematic turnover, losing an unacceptable number of new customer bids or proposals, and are happy with the customer’s share of wallet they have. We realize that a Level II customer focus isn’t for everyone. You may not feel you need it. Here are some of the more common symptoms that tell a company they could benefit from taking their focus to this next level:

  • The same or similar types of customer problems, issues, or complaints tend to recur.
  • You have a hard time building cost increases into your pricing structure.
  • Certain customer needs can’t be clearly identified or consistently met.
  • Your company isn’t happy with the number, size, or type of customers who are defecting.
  • Problems get resolved with one customer only to surface with some other customer.
  • You’re losing more bids, proposals, or tenders than you want to lose.
  • Your customer focus results are good in one part of the business but not in another. ...

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