thinking like a customer

thinking like a customer

Customer Maturity: A New Definition

By on May 4, 2011

Most discussions of customer maturity reflect on how loyal customers are to the supplier. Using a range from casual to completely committed, their perspective is how the customer behaves, based on a category of maturity in their relationship with the supplier. Now, rather than classifying the maturity of customers, let’s flip the model and view it from the perspective of you, the supplier, and how mature your organization is in its relationship with its customers.

Immaturity can equate to unpreparedness and not seeing the full picture. In business, it can translate to acting from a position of insecurity—micromanaging, controlling, and demanding—and looking only at what is good for the supplier.

Wine_lrgIn contrast, John MacNaughton said, “Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself.” Mature organizations have chosen to center their activities on what is best for the customer. They offer products and services, of course, but these are tailored to make life easier for their customers. The primary purpose of mature organizations is customer success and they approach this with, as Nietzsche said, the intensity of a child at play. They focus their culture on creating great performance ideas for customers and they create a tribe of customers that never want to leave.

Your goal, as a customer-mature organization is to have your customers ask why the competition doesn’t act the way you do. There is no better testimonial to your leadership when you have achieved this dimension of maturity. If you were the customer, which would you rather do business with--the immature one? No, you are much more confident about the mature one--the customer-centered one.

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