Ongoing globalisation is having far-reaching consequences for companies. Liberalisation and deregulation are increasing the competition. Borders between different industries and different countries are becoming less important, the number of competitors is increasing. The rapid spread of know-how is causing quality standards to rise in a whole range of product areas.
Changing consumer behaviour
Added to this is the fact that consumers are increasingly exhibiting hybrid purchasing behaviour. They can no longer be assigned to traditional quality or pricing segments because they buy both high-price and low-cost goods. The spotlight is being put on individual benefits rather than the provider. Consumers have access to numerous sources of information to select the best offer on the market according to personal criteria.
The importance of customer management
These conditions are making it more difficult to win new customers. In slow-growing or saturated markets in particular, companies have to entice customers away from competitors if they are to win any new customers. At the same time, it is becoming tremendously important to maintain existing customer relationships. It is six times more expensive to win a new customer than to keep an existing one. Professional customer management, which secures profitable customer relationships in the long term, is a key contributing factor to a company’s success.
Every company claims to be customer-oriented. Many believe that large-scale marketing campaigns and sensational discounts offer their customers maximum benefits. But customer orientation is much more than that. It really puts the focus on the customer. The company makes the effort to understand its customers. It analyses the customers’ needs and habits to adapt its offering, organisational structure and business philosophy accordingly. This is the only way to really generate close customer ties from customer orientation.