Every week Advantexe has the opportunity to design, develop, and deliver business leadership and strategic business selling talent development engagements for clients around the world. We are exposed to thousands of different companies executing many flavors of business strategies and the lessons learned from our work is shared in the form of blogs and eBooks in our virtual Business Acumen 101 learning solution.
This week, we are working on a business acumen training and development program sponsored by one of our clients in the home business-acumen-simulations pool and spa business called BioGuard. BioGuard is a world leader in pool and spa care and they have achieved their success through a strategy of innovation and strong customer service. The talent development project we are working on with BioGuard is called “BioGuard University,” which is a training program customized for their customers to provide the latest skills and tools to run their businesses more successfully. The topics of learning include business acumen, business leadership, marketing, and retail techniques. In order to design such a rich learning experience we interviewed typical customers to understand their current skills and future needs.
One of the subject matter experts we interviewed turned out to be far from “typical” and it was one of the most enjoyable and interesting conversations about business strategy I have ever had. Kazdin Pools & Spas is located in Southampton, New York and has been in business for more than 40 years. They have achieved award winning success through a strategy of deep customer intimacy. My 45 minute conversation with them highlighted how successful Customer Intimacy execution is extremely powerful and relevant to any company executing the strategy.
“Customer Intimacy” is not lip service and not something chosen by default (see our previous blog on this). It is something that guides everything that they do and it transcends their entire organizational structure. While the book definition of Customer Intimacy is “understanding your customer as well as if not better than they understand themselves,” Kazdin goes well beyond that definition and from our conversation, I have accumulated 7 tips of flawless customer intimacy execution.
Humility in any business strategy can go a long way; humility when executing Customer Intimacy is crucial. Humility in Customer Intimacy means proactively listening and having a modest view of your own self-importance.
Every time a customer buys something from your organization it is a recognition of your unique value proposition to them. Be thankful and grateful for each transaction and the fact that customers want your value.
Being grateful is one thing; showing appreciation is at another level. Showing appreciation is an outward recognition to your customers that you understand they have choices and that you appreciate their choice of you.
Executing any strategy is difficult because there are always distractions that can take it off course. Because Customer Intimacy is so difficult to execute it is critical to stay focused on the elements of your tactics of execution.
Customers appreciate open and honest communication and transparency in relationships. Transparency means being clear about pricing, levels of service, and what the customer is actually receiving in terms of the value they are buying.
Choose the right customers
It is critical to focus on the right customers; this may be customers who are segmented as sophisticated, solution oriented, and believers in a higher value proposition that is not just focused on price.
Believe in your value proposition
The last tip is the most important: you have to believe with 100% of your heart in your own value proposition. The moment a customer feels that you don’t is the moment that you lose your ability to capture your full value for Customer Intimacy.