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

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Chapter 6

It Takes Two to Be Engaged

  • Determine who “owns” your customer focus
  • Employee engagement—vital to implementing any strategy
  • Build the capabilities needed to implement Level II

In sum, the various Level II techniques described so far are essential for converting the typical event-based, rear-view–looking, data-driven customer focus process into a more ongoing relationship-based, real-time, value-driven process. Things like touch point surveys, interviews, focus groups, on-site assessments, customer advisory boards, joint project teams, and job rotations are vital for identifying ways to make the relationship more valuable to both sides.

However, there are some drawbacks or challenges supplier companies often face as they progress to and through Level II. These include:

  • The increased frequency and depth of Level II actions require more people resources than most companies have formally dedicated to their customer focus initiative.
Benefits of Touch Point Dialogues
  • Goes beyond the sales transaction, metrics, and relationship managers.
  • Looks at the present, not just the past.
  • Multiplies and deepens the supplier’s connection in the customer organization.
  • Surfaces additional opportunities to differentiate the supplier company.
  • Creates a more complete and informed view of what “value” means to the customer.
  • Surfaces the customer’s unstated needs.
  • Helps identify the customer’s different views of POP, POD, and UVP.
  • Begins building a more pervasive sense of relationship, ...

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