When you wish to know your customers better, what initiatives does your organization undertake? Do you go meet customers, organize customer events, design feedback forms to be filled up by customers, or even commission an external consultant to conduct a Customer Satisfaction Survey? You may be doing some or perhaps even all of these. Which is commendable as these exercises certainly help in understanding your customers better and cementing the relationship further.
But how many of you actually know where your core customers (the 20% who contribute to 80% of your turnover) have positioned you in their growth plans? Do they view you as a vital partner or just as a current supplier or service provider? Do they see you as a key contributor to their long term goals? Do you figure in their future plans? Based on their perceptions, how do they expect your organization and your people to respond to them? How do they position you vis-a-vis best of class firms of a similar nature?