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11 comments

Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

Posted March 06, 2013 12:00 AM by larhere

The term Customer Centric Concepts came from our 25 years of experience developing and maintaining account relationships with Trane's National Account customers who grew to contributing over $300 million in sales and represented over 10% of Trane's commercial equipment sales. The average annual purchase volume for these accounts was 40 times the average for all Trane customers.

Our team analyzed what needed to be done to grow and maintain national account sales while earning the loyalty of our customers. The result of that study was the approach to be "customer centric" in the way we support our accounts. Trane's National Account customers awarded us with an average share of 75% of their business with customer satisfaction ratings at 10% above the corporate average.

What does it mean?

Being customer centric basically means to stop focusing on selling our product for our reasons and instead investing in the time to truly understand our customer's business, their strategic objectives and the obstacles to achieving those objectives. We then look for ways to utilize our products, services and technologies, with a willingness to stretch beyond our current methods, to help the customer meet their goals. We literally get inside of their shoes and make decisions that benefit them. There have been cases in which it was to a customer's advantage to use a competitor's equipment to resolve an issue. We not only participated in that analysis and recommend the solution, but helped them design the system utilizing competitive equipment. There are numerous stories that can be shared that proved this approach was extremely rewarding for both Trane and the customer. As a result, we earned our customer's loyalty and their business. People like doing business with people they trust.

Is it a business strategy or a CRM "tool"?

Customer Centric Concepts is definitely a business strategy that involves the use of tools developed specifically to aid in the implementation of this strategy. Many firms promote being customer centric but do not have the tools needed to implement that "sales feature" with their customers. Being customer centric has required the implementation of the following, which represents some but not all of the steps required to truly be customer centric:

  1. A willingness of your entire company to put the customer's needs ahead of their own
  2. A willingness to expand on your current offerings to meet customer needs, especially in the services and support arenas.
  3. The development of a documented methodology to implement and drive ongoing customer centric support
  4. Ongoing training for those who need to utilize customer centric concepts with their accounts
  5. A significant effort to educate your internal organization, all the way to the top, on the need and value of implementing a customer centric process.

More information is available to organizations that are interested in better understanding this process and to help determine if utilizing Customer Centric Concepts is right for their organization.

Editors Note: CR4 would like to thank Roger Walker of GEA Consulting, for contributing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

About Roger Walker:

  • Sales & Business Strategy Consultant.
  • Seven Years with GEA
  • Former Director, Global & National Accounts - Trane
  • Director, New Global Business Development Group - Trane
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#1

Re: Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

03/06/2013 8:31 PM

A new buzz word.

I'm somewhat "language centric" and I've "exceeded expectations", "given 110%", been a "team player", a multi tasker", a "vertically integrated", "leveraged", "empowered" and "focused" "go getter".

Just give the customer what they want.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

03/08/2013 9:50 AM

Those buzz words and crazy abreviations are battons for those with a limited natural intelligence to do what is ethical, and efficiently. A large proportion of the people dragged into these "disciplines" don't have a clue of its real meaning and make its implementation a goal per se, thus defeating the porpuse: Customer complaints are still being received.

There surely is a legitimate goal behind all of these systems, but their structure is incredibly complex and populated with terms and obscure mantras, that specialized professionals are now being hired just to keep 'em going !.

Oh! good old common sense, we're killing you, and making an arse of ourselves in the process.

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#10
In reply to #2

Re: Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

03/12/2013 2:48 PM

Respectfully, if great customer focused support was common sense, then more companies would apply it to their methods. Unfortunately, most companies are price and product focused instead of working on the real needs of their customers. Most don't understand what that really means. I recognize that there are faulty disciplines that require us to jump through many worthless hoops. That doesn't mean that the simple principles stated in this article are not accurate. Please be specific in your feedback, to make it worthwhile versus emply ranting that is no more descriptive than buzz words.

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

03/08/2013 10:22 AM

WOW!

After that buss word rant, you really "Motivated" me to come back with a "Creative" response. I have a varied "Track Record" of "Effective" debating skills-set that I take "Responsible" for my responses. Because I feel that they are "Innovative" from my "Extensive Experience" over a "Wide Range" of "Communication Skills" by addressing each subject with a "Analytical" methodology.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

03/09/2013 12:54 AM

That IS thinking outside the box! Or should I say that was thinkingizing outside the box.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

03/09/2013 7:57 AM

You're too generous,.... No, really, tooooo generous. ;)

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#9
In reply to #1

Re: Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

03/12/2013 2:42 PM

Your over reaction to a simple process with few buzz words, and one that has proven to work, indicates that you have been on the wrong end of a program that was frought with empty phrases and little substance. I have had a different experience, one which customers greatly appreciated and with whom we were able to develop a strong trust relationship. I feel sorry for those who haven't been able to experience the same rewarding results.

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#11
In reply to #1

Re: Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

03/12/2013 7:14 PM

Oh my,

I didn't know Wally was posting here on CR4.

We KNOW what the customer wants....

They want all of "it" for nothing.

When they don't get that, they hate us.

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#6

Re: Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

03/10/2013 3:46 PM

Circular language like this--"Customer Centric Concepts is definitely a business strategy that involves the use of tools developed specifically to aid in the implementation of this strategy"--is a good example of tripping on one's own shoelaces.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

03/10/2013 5:57 PM

...this reminds me as being a VERBAL version of this old GRAPHIC truth:

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#8

Re: Customer Centric Concepts – Unlocking the Secrets

03/10/2013 6:31 PM

I worked at a company that culture was based on enterprise selling.... As opposed to Transactional selling to its customer..... Well it was supposable it's culture. They kept losing focus..... And every 6 months try to return to enterprise selling..... Frankly....... I felt I was sorrounded by a bunch of brown nosed yes men....

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