Customer Intimacy, Meet Operational Excellence

Harvard Business Review

What is more important to company success, a strong external focus on customer experiences or an internal focus on effective and efficient operations? Bean have had lots of information about customers for many years that they have used to tailor offerings and services.

Operational Excellence, Meet Customer Intimacy

Harvard Business Review

Most organizations continuously strive to achieve operational excellence, but they spend less effort understanding customer needs — and few marry these two sources of customer value effectively. Consider Tesco , one of the world's largest retailers with over 500,000 employees, which has spent the last three decades improving its supply chain processes, and the last two decades collecting and analyzing customer data. Customers Operations

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Customer Intimacy vs. Customer Satisfaction


These paths are clearly and effectively outlined by Fred Wiersema and Michael Treacy in The Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market : 1) Operational Excellence – Lowest Cost. 3) Customer Intimacy – Best Overall Solution.

Gutting the Talent Bench

Lead Change Blog

What is your organization’s claim to fame—operational excellence, customer intimacy or product leadership? If your focus is customer intimacy, do the employees who personally excel at operational excellence and product leadership feel engaged or disenfranchised in your workplace? How are you doing in the other two areas?

The Lesson of the Screaming Shrimp


What are you showing your customers that might be unappetizing? If you want an objective look at your customer experience, you need another set of eyes, ears, and hands. Have an outside expert evaluate your customer experience.

Good Cybersecurity Can Be Good Marketing

Harvard Business Review

” In fact, besides voicing a desire for a seamless customer experience, CMOs have been reluctant to get more involved with online customer identification and other cybersecurity decisions. Online security and customer intimacy go hand in hand. Developing deeper knowledge of your organization’s consumers may be the best way for you to simultaneously secure their online touchpoints while providing a better customer experience.

Are You Leading Cash Registers?

Lead Change Blog

I am in a big hurry and we are holding up this line of customers.” And, maximizing the clerk’s productivity meant keeping her focused on the rules of the registry more than on the concerns of the customer. The customer. She might have missed customer service training.

5 Ways to Become Indispensable

N2Growth Blog

Wouldn’t you like to become indispensable to your customers? While there’s not one sure fire formula to follow to become indispensable, you can do some things to improve your chances that you’ll “stick” to your customers.

How IBM, Intuit, and Rich Products Became More Customer-Centric

Harvard Business Review

How well do you know your customers? We have shifted from a competitive landscape in which companies are more exclusively focused on external forces affecting their industries and sectors, to one that has become significantly more customer-centric. Operations Customers Design

How Location Analytics Will Transform Retail

Harvard Business Review

It’s become an essential tool for understanding online customer behaviors and driving site improvement efforts. Despite its success online, relatively few companies with physical venues employ advanced analytics solutions that track customer behaviors in their physical spaces. As a result, most companies are flying blind when it comes to understanding their customers in the analog world. We are in the Age of the Customer.

Creativity - The Key To The Challenge of Complexity for CEOs

Six Disciplines

The most successful organizations co-create products and services with customers, and integrate customers into core processes.They are adopting new channels to engage and stay in tune with customers. By drawing more insight from the available data, successful CEOs make customer intimacy their number-one priority. Better performers manage complexity on behalf of their organizations, customers and partners.

The Growing Power of Inside Sales

Harvard Business Review

SAP has refocused its large and growing inside sales team towards working with channel partners, rather than directly with customers, as part of a strategic initiative aimed at increasing channel sales to 40% of the company''s total sales by 2015. By stages of the customer engagement process.

B2B 11

Win the Attention of Your Distracted Consumer

Harvard Business Review

But here are some examples of how brands are meeting the challenge: Develop customer intimacy. Every strategy begins with an understanding of your target customer. A guy walks into a store. No, it''s not the opening salvo for a bad joke.

Make Your Organization Anti-Fragile

Harvard Business Review

having sacrificed customer intimacy for increased operational excellence gains through widespread cost cutting, are well documented. Many large, successful organizations are more fragile than they seem. They break under stress. Remember the travails of Kodak , Digital Equipment Corp.,

Start-ups: Before You Launch Your Product, Start With a Service

Harvard Business Review

AgilOne, a company that provides cloud-based predictive customer analytics, was founded by Omer Artun in 2006. Initially, the company relied entirely on services to get close to customers, understand and address their problems, and in the process generate revenues. Much of what the company learned about its customers in the services mode has been developed into its product, although a good percentage of revenues still comes from services.

Understanding Customers Is Everyone's Job

Harvard Business Review

Going to market effectively these days, no matter what business you''re in, means relating to customers as individuals — even if there are millions of them. retailer Tesco built detailed profiles of customers and then used these insights and a flexible supply chain to customize their products and offers. Creating products and services for market segments of one (" mass customization ") isn''t easy. They''re using tailored suggestions to drive customer loyalty.

How to Fund Indian Start-Ups

Harvard Business Review

Using IT services to generate cash and develop customer intimacy, it is entirely possible to build products. Even though interest in entrepreneurship is at its highest in India, the country has a nominal seed capital infrastructure. India has numerous small retailers and service providers who are shining examples of scrappy entrepreneurship at its best, but the information technology startups that are my primary interest typically require outside funding.

The Potential of Geolocation for Revolutionizing Retail

Harvard Business Review

Online stores are always open and are available anywhere, have “endless aisles” and can use digital tools to personalize offers to customer preferences. GPS), and data analytics to improve the in-store experience for customers. How leading companies connect with customers.

Embracing Digital Change Requires a Clear Strategic Focus - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM DXC TECHNOLOGY

Harvard Business Review

Operational excellence, customer intimacy, or product leadership — successful companies excel in one dimension and perform well in the others. Internal departments and employees were once seen as the CIO’s customers. Today, as they divest themselves of IT delivery, CIOs are as focused on the external business customers as are other members of the C-suite.


What Apple, Lending Club, and AirBnB Know About Collaborating with Customers

Harvard Business Review

The idea of “co-creating” with customers has been circulating for years, but until recently few companies effectively exploited its power or understood its contribution to the bottom line. By leveraging customer networks and their tangible (e.g. Your customers are waiting.

Invest in Proprietary Data for Competitive Advantage

Harvard Business Review

One retailer develops an insight into customer behavior and others follow suit. For example, pharmacies build a patient's prescription history to better identify possible drug interactions, suggest cheaper generics, and get customers into their stores. Thus, innovators may seek competitive advantage in their product and service data; the low-cost providers on operations and process data; and those aiming for customer intimacy on customer data.

IBM at 100: How to Outlast Depression, War, and Competition

Harvard Business Review

Know your customers intimately. Newly appointed CEO Lou Gerstner logged thousands of hours visiting customers, industry experts and analysts. He then set about transforming the company to rekindle IBM's historic commitment to customer intimacy, to make the organization much more integrated, and to streamline operations. He believed satisfied, engaged employees ensure customer satisfaction and retention, and this in turn drives profit.