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

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Chapter 4

When Customers Speak—Who Hears Them?

  • Voice of the customer (VOC)—pros and cons
  • Top 10 reasons customers leave
  • Listening to voices beyond the transaction

Almost all new customer–supplier relationships begin with a transaction where the customer behaves in one way and the supplier behaves in a certain way as a result of it (or vice versa). The customer pays the supplier and the supplier provides a product or service. Some suppliers are content with that transaction model. Many are not. They know that a competitor’s cheaper, faster transaction is waiting around every corner. For those suppliers, the challenge becomes: How do you keep this customer’s transactions with you and keep your competitors out of the picture? How do you keep your customers satisfied enough to stay with you? This is the point where many companies start their customer focus. This is Level I of the Customer Focus Maturity Model® (CFMM)—a very basic level, but a very important foundational level that must be managed well before progressing to higher levels. (See Figure 4.1.)

Figure 4.1 Level I of the CFMM

image

Level I—Voice of the Customer (VOC)

Most companies at Level I start their customer focus journey because they have experienced some type of customer risk such as rising customer complaints, increased turnover, unusual pricing pressure, lower contract renewal rates, and so forth. Some companies, ...

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