Customer driven is combination of plans, offerings or strategies motivated by customer's demand or expectations. Moreover, it is showing great attention to figuring out what customers demand and assist them to obtain it.
Being Customer Driven
Being “Customer Driven” is more than just being in touch with customers and supply them with their needs. Being Customer Driven means (Cristiano, J.J., Liker, J.K.,White, C.C 2000, p. 287-289):
- Building and developing relationships with customers to understand their needs and following that fulfilling these needs at best,
- Realizing the customer's state in both with your company and their own customers,
- Possessing reliable and concrete information which is effectively passed on to the customer,
- Making sure of availability of staff to help your customer when needed,
- Communicating with your customer when your processes change to make sure customer benefits the relationship in highest level,
- Asking inquisitory questions and giving precise answers.
Customer-driven Strategy Definition
Customer-driven strategy is very crucial business philosophy which all companies must adapt. This concept gives a broad abstract of the key points of customer-driven strategy and suggestions critical execution advice and success components. Customer-driven strategy is focused on meeting the needs of the company's factual and potential clients and consequently supplying the goals of the organization, such as profit or service in a public service company. The customer-driven strategy states that long-term profits can be achieved only by customer attraction and retention (Desouza, K.C., Awazu, Y., Jha, S., Dombrowski, C., Papagari, S., Baloh, P., Kim, J.Y 2008, p. 35-37). Regardless the industry – vertical or division in the company, customer-driven position is the best position a company can be in because this position plays a crucial role in quality process.
Elements of a Customer-Driven Strategy
In modern business environment where the competition is high, c company can gain edge-cutting competition advantage by focusing on the problems and the needs of the customers. A happy customer is more likely to be sticky and royal customers and this drives new business opportunities to your company. In addition, companies’ marketing strategy should be driven by focusing on customers who would benefit the most out of your products and services. This kind of strategy must include components like identification of the targeted markets and strategically acting towards the market needs. It must also contain strategies of customer retention and strategies of gaining new business growth opportunities.
Elements of a Customer-Driven Strategy(Hines T. 2004, p. 103-106):
- Targeting Your Market
A customer-driven marketing strategy focuses on a very specific segment of the market and uses marketing research to spot extensive demographic qualifications in your customer base. Knowing more about your customer means easier strategy development which will fit to these characteristics. In conclusion, in converts into time and budget utilization. In today's modern technology world, a company can easily find detailed market research at no cost which can contain valuable information regarding the targeted customers and markets which will make the marketing strategy in line with the customers needs, problems and vision.
- Meeting Customer Needs
A customer-driven marketing strategy pays attention on matching the needs of the customers and evaluates how the company's products and services can meet customer's needs. Assuming company's market research shows that its customers are highly interested in receiving value added services. This company can meet such need of the customer by providing deliveries free of charge. For instance, a dentist who works in crowded area which has limited parking spaces, can offer to his patient pick-up or drop-off services, free of charge.
- Building Customer Loyalty
Customer-driven marketing strategies can help to develop customer loyalty, which allow recurring sales but also customer's referral opportunities. One of the very common examples of this type of strategy is where marketers implement rewards program: customers can win points every time they do an order. The collection of these points leads to free-of-charge or purchase discounted products or services.
- Using Customer Feedback
Customer feedbacks are very important in order to do changes and improvements on the products and services so that company can continuously meet customers’ expectations. For instance, your customers can indicate they would like to have an easier return policy of your products. Making these changes and enabling your marketing strategies in line with these demands will prove that your company is highly focused on customer's expectations and valuation of their feedbacks.
- Gaining Customer Referrals
Each company must use referral programs as part of their marketing strategy. Companies should motivate their existing customers to refer company's business to recruit new customers. Implementation of the referral programs where existing customers are awarded for referring your product and services by providing them extra discounts.
- Cristiano, J.J., Liker, J.K.,White, C.C. (2000), Customer-Driven Product Development Through Quality, Elsevier
- Desouza, K.C., Awazu, Y., Jha, S., Dombrowski, C., Papagari, S., Baloh, P., Kim, J.Y. (2008), Customer-driven innovation, Research Technology Management
- Hines, T. (2012), Supply Chain Strategies, Routledge
Author: Iryna Vasilieva