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

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Chapter 8

Culture—The Soft Stuff Is the Hard Stuff

  • Identify the four elements needed to realize Level III
  • Create an internal language around value creation
  • Use Ask, Act, and Align to shape your customer-focused culture

It’s helpful to recap briefly before plunging into the steps and rewards of Level III. Without a solid grounding and progress at Levels I and II, achieving Level III won’t likely be possible.

You’ll remember the focus of Level II was to go beyond the transactions between customer and supplier, and look to better understand the reasons behind their behaviors in those transactions as well as the reasons for the related voice of the customer (VOC) measurement results. Whereas Level I activities were usually effective at detecting the customer’s unmet needs, and recovering from or correcting the causes of not satisfying those needs, it was insufficient for understanding the customer’s points of parity and points of differentiation that impacted their satisfaction throughout their total experience with the supplier. Level II efforts created reasons and opportunities to team with or engage the customer in an ongoing fashion so the supplier would have a more real-time view (instead of a rear-view mirror or snapshot) of what it takes to consistently satisfy the customer’s myriad touch point owners. Only by consistently understanding and delivering on those various satisfaction drivers would the supplier earn the customer’s trust and confidence needed to reveal their ...

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