Casual, Moderate, and Intense Levels of Customer/Partner FocusBy: Jim Clemmer
"What's Mr. Smith's condition?" asked the raspy voice on the phone.Part of the reason so many organizations aren't really customer-focused is because their managers don't know the difference. They're innocently ignorant. These managers don't understand what intense customer focus really looks like. And they don't fully appreciate the why and how of balancing their focus on the final or ultimate customers with their focus on external partners, such as distributors, retailers, dealers, agents, suppliers, physicians, and such.
The following chart illustrates the vast differences in customer and partner focus. To make our teams or organizations into high performers, we need to get all of our focus and activities into the "Intense" column.
A useful exercise is for management teams to individually assess their position on each section of this chart. Comparing answers and discussing differing points of view can reveal plenty of improvement opportunities. Better yet, are ratings from customers and/or internal partners.
A shake out of technologies companies will continue to give us plenty of examples of what happens when service/quality levels are only Casual or Moderate. We've all had our fill of dealing with companies who provide a useful service or technology but can't even answer the phone or provide the most basic customer support. Trying to get service support from one of these companies is about as much fun as being poked in the eye with a sharp stick.
Many of these mediocre companies are one-technology-wonders who developed a specialized product or found a narrow technical niche and have never really had to compete for business. They haven't had to worry about service because there were always more customers to replace those lost through careless neglect. Their casual levels of service/quality make them causalities in company graveyards.
© Copyright 2001 The CLEMMER Group
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