Why Companies don’t get closer to
their best customers?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is all about paying more
attention to customers. By now even businesses that never pay
attention to “buzz words” or Catch phrases will not argue that CRM has
why is it, that so few businesses make an effort to get closer to
customers in general and best customers specifically?
the answers may be varied, some common reasons can be offered that may
shed some light on the customer business relationship process.
Some companies fear
their best customers will reject their attempts to get closer.
This is a common problem (especially
with many smaller businesses). Some companies’ fear their attempts
will seem like a bother to their customers to the point that the
customer will tell them to take a hike.
However if a company does not abuse
the relationship (and not try to push every product on every customer
at every touch point) there is a good chance they will not be
The secret is to keep the
communication relevant and valuable to the customer. A good start
could be forwarding some information that may be of interest to the
customer without trying to sell anything to them. Customers will feel
better about a communication that centers on their needs rather then
about a product or service that is of no interest to them.
Too busy putting out
This can happen with any size
business. The owners or managers have to constantly “Pull a rabbit out
of their hat” in order to keep things going and avert disaster.
While every business has emergencies,
often the severity of a situation is overblown. Sometimes key decision
makers must delegate responsibility to subordinates so they can take
time for what is important – Customers.
Falling in love with
This is the worst reason to neglect
customers and usually happens when a company has experienced success
with a product or service. Either the product or service was truly
creative or the timing was perfect. As a result, the company feels
that the product is so good that it will sell itself, and people will
continue to beat a path to their door.
Nothing is perfect or cannot be
improved. Often a competitor will take a successful concept, make a
small change a steal a market.
The best thing about a successful
product or service is that customers will want to talk to you about
Do not have time to
find out who their best customers are
This is the second worst reason. Every business should know who their
best customers are. This should be done immediately in any business,
an A-list should be accessible to anyone who may talk to a customer.
There are horror stories about customer service blunders where a top
customer is forced to unnecessarily wait for an answer to an inquiry
or make a purchase. Sometimes the result can be disastrous! Know
everything you can about your top customers and when they make contact
treat them as if they are important to you.
Loss of focus
Businesses change over time. Sometimes products are dropped,
businesses change hands, upper management is replaced or online
services replace face-to-face contact.
Unfortunately, growth can often
squelch the passion that existed in the early days of an organization.
Many times a certain level of success is reached and then the business
is put on automatic pilot and people work very hard to keep the status
This is never a good thing and cannot
succeed long term. “New Blood” must be transfused to keep a business
relevant and enthusiastic to its customers. Once customers become
secondary, the end will not be far off.