When Giving Your Customers Less Is More
Contrary to popular belief, most of the world's household brands are not customer-centric; they're product-centric, which isn't enough anymore. Companies may say they care about the customer; they may even have installed a CRM system - but that's the problem. Customer friendliness is not the same thing as aligning your entire company's development and delivery of products and services with the current and future needs of a select set of customers in order to maximize their long-term financial value to the firm. Turning CRM into a data-gathering exercise run by IT is not the same thing as extracting value-added insight into your focal customers. This article debunks many of the myths surrounding customer centricity, showing how managers need to recontextualize the role of CRM as part of a wider customer-centric strategy. Understanding, first of all, that there is tremendous heterogeneity among your customers, and that, consequently, some customers deserve less, and it is okay to give them less, presents a radically different approach from the way most companies operate. Customer-centric firms do not just acknowledge this truth, they actually celebrate it, because they understand that it offers immense opportunities and maximum profits in the long term.