October 2010 Archives

The following guest post is by Chris Fox of McMann & Ransford.

One of the first questions we get is "Where in our business would this apply?"  

It's a good question - because in many corporations, multiple customer engagement models co-exist in support of various parts of the portfolio - and will continue to do so.

To answer the question, it helps to think about the nature of a customer relationship when a Customer Intimacy Engine™ is in place:

  • Is your Account leader embedded in the account?
  • Do you have a high level of knowledge, trust, and cooperation with your customer?
  • Do both you and your customer feel you're achieving  the full impact of your company's portfolio, and your work together is informing decisions on the future direction of your portfolio?
  • Are your relationships  with the people who control and direct the resources (e.g. with Business GMs and/or the C-suite) built on substance, not just camaraderie?
  • Are you able to monetize these relationships, pulling through or renew less differentiated or transactional business, at fair prices?
At first glance - one might say "I want all my customer relationships to be like that!", but, except for certain service businesses, that is rarely the right answer. 

An examination of the customer and offer portfolio will show that there are likely certain lines of business that won't just benefit from this model, but actually require it in order to succeed.  And, very often, it is in areas where the company has said they need to own a greater piece of the opportunity space for strategic reasons 

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