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Managing Customer Relationships: A Strategic Framework, 2nd Edition by Martha Rogers, Don Peppers

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Chapter 7

Interacting with Customers: Customer Collaboration Strategy

Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of witnesses.

—Margaret Millar

So far, we have discussed the ways an enterprise can identify and differentiate customers. Both of these efforts help the enterprise prepare to treat different customers differently. But, essentially, both “identify” and “differentiate” are analytical tasks. They are at the heart of the efforts, working behind the scenes to gather information about a customer, to rank him by his value to the company and to differentiate his needs accordingly. These tasks aren’t really visible to a customer. In this chapter, we introduce a part of the Interact-Differentiate-Interact-Customize (IDIC) implementation methodology that gets the customer directly involved: interaction. We will see different viewpoints on the broad and growing emphasis on interaction with customers. But even as the discussion touches on the general and the particular, the main reason for interaction remains the same: to get more information directly from a customer in order to serve him in a way no competitor can who doesn’t have the information.

Managing individual customer relationships is a difficult, ongoing process that evolves as the customer and the enterprise deepen their awareness of and involvement with each other. To reach this new plateau of intimacy, the enterprise must get as close to the customer as it can. It must be able to understand ...

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