The Thinking behind Customer Relationships
Things have never been more like they are today in history.
—Dwight D. Eisenhower
So far, our discussion of customer relationships, customer experience, and customer value has shown how businesses are undergoing a vast cultural shift—transforming from the mass marketing, product-siloed thinking of the Industrial Age to the customer-based culture of the Information Age, where the primary goal is building relationships with individual customers who become measurably more valuable to the enterprise. In this new business era, managing individual customer relationships means an organization will use the knowledge gained from these relationships to improve the quality of the overall customer experience. Consequently, it is incumbent on the enterprise to understand what constitutes a relationship, how relationships are formed, and how they can be strengthened or weakened. Many different perspectives have been developed about what comprises customer relationships and how businesses can profit from them. So before we can move forward with our discussion of becoming a customer-focused enterprise, we need to explore a couple of views besides our own about relationships.
By the early 2000s, many companies acknowledged the importance of building “relationships” with customers—of improving customer experience, taking the customer’s point of view, and taking steps to measure and manage customer value. In many cases, companies that had been ...