32 Customer Entanglement Strategies

There was no pressing need to write this. But write it I did. I admit to liking the term “Customer Entanglement.” (Not to mention “WOW-ification.”)

Here goes:

*Eye-popping customer SERVICE/PURCHASE PROCESS


*Customer KINDNESS (K = R = P/Kindness = Repeat business = Profit.)

*Fierce customer LISTENING!! (“Core Value” #1? NO KIDDING!!) (CEO: “If you don’t listen you don’t sell anything.”)

*Pursuing customer LOYALTY/maximizing Net Promoter Score (Live or die via customers referring you to others—10X or 100 or 1000X more powerful in LSWSM/Light Speed World of Social Media.)

*Focus on customer LIFETIME VALUE (>>100% profit from repeat business; hence after-sale activity [far] more important than pre-sale.)

*Scintillating customer EXPERIENCE (For EVERY business of EVERY size!) (“Experience” is NOT marketing-speak; ’tis the really real thing. Life = Theater!!)

*Experience WOW-ification via constant “all hands-all-the-time” experimentation (WTTMSW/Whoever Tries The Most Stuff Wins.) (“WOWIFICATION” IS A REAL WORD. BELIEVE IT.)

*Dramatically improved customer understanding and “WOW-ification” via application of BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE (“Kahneman-ization”—after Kahneman’s masterpiece book on perception and decision-making, Thinking, Fast and Slow.)

*Consistent/”OCD” adherence to the WOW STANDARD of customer interaction

*Co-design and develop EVERYTHING with the customer. (“Customer INTIMACY” is NOT a “buzzphrase.”)

*The Age of the “Social Employee”—everyone is in the “customer contact business.” (Everyone = EVERYONE.)

*Optimal customer interactions via provider’s XFX/CROSS-FUNCTIONAL EXCELLENCE (90% of product development and after-sales service screw-ups are more or less driven by lousy internal cross-functional coordination—need X-functional synergy; need X-functional leadership daily.)

*SCREW-UPS = OPPORTUNITY #1. Responding to problems is NOT an “opportunity”—it is, truly, Opportunity #1.

*Intimate customer connection via the “SUCK-DOWN-FOR-SUCCESS” strategy—”STRATEGY,” not “tactic”; this is B-I-G. (Get to know the folks in the bowels of the customer organization—they are the de facto [or de jure!] decision-makers/reputation-makers.)

*All leaders need direct customer contact all the time. (Hey, CEO, called a customer … TODAY?)

*Enabling customer SUCCESS as Gold Standard (Customer “satisfaction” is not [nearly] enough—e.g., UPS says the letters stand for “United Problem Solvers” [that telling name is service-marked]; UPS is in the “logistics management” “space,” not “package delivery.”)

*Increasing the SOLUTION SPACE WE INHABIT (Do more and more—AND MORE—for the customer; customer-as-partner; again, Social Media magnifies this opportunity 10X/100X.)

*Doing well THINGS THAT CUSTOMERS DON’T WANT TO DO FOR THEMSELVES (Larry Janesky’s Basement Systems Inc. experiences rocketing growth—via “basement transformation.”)

*Product or service as LOVEMARK (Marketing super-guru Kevin Roberts gold standard; NOT a buzzphrase.) (More Kevin Roberts: “Avoid moderation”—YES, circa 2015.)

*Establishing non-obvious customer connections via BIG DATA (“Big data” is a Big Deal for businesses of every size.)

*Customer entanglement via GAMIFICATION (Make interactions into games—power tool, though non-trivial investment.)

*Customer engagement via intensive use of SOCIAL MEDIA (One Big Biz financial service CEO says he’d rather have ONE twitter conversation with one customer than buy a Super Bowl ad!!!!!!!!) (Please re-read the prior sentence.)

*Lifetime customer coddling via provider’s PEERLESS PEOPLE PRACTICES (To put the customer first, put the people who serve the customer “more first”!!!!!!!!!!) (“YOUR CUSTOMERS WILL NEVER BE ANY HAPPIER THAN YOUR EMPLOYEES.” —John DiJulius, personal services chain superstar)

*Catering on every dimension from design to follow-up on those who buy the product/WOMEN (Which also necessarily means a high share of women in high leadership positions.) (Women now occupy >one-half of professional purchasing officer jobs—so women buy the bulk of commercial goods as well as consumer goods.) (HOW MANY DAMN FRIGGING TIMES AM I GOING TO HAVE TO SAY THIS?)

*Catering to the AGING/BOOMER POPULATION (At 50, half of one’s adult life remains; ONE boomer turns SIXTY-FIVE every EIGHT seconds for the next TWENTY years.) (OLDIES = PEOPLE WITH [ALL] THE MONEY!!!) (HOW MANY DAMN FRIGGING TIMES AM I GOING TO HAVE TO SAY THIS?)

*Customer magnetization via PRODUCT EXCELLENCE (Good stuff is always primo.) Product design and after-sales service trump excellent marketing 10 out of 10 times. Mountains cannot be made of molehills.)

*Attracting customers by DESIGN/MATCHLESS FUNCTIONALITY (Apple has higher market cap than Exxon Mobil. Q.E.D.) (Applies to EVERY enterprise including the 1-person accountancy.)

*Attracting customers by DESIGN/STUNNING AESTHETICS (Applies to EVERY enterprise including the 1-person accountancy.)

*Attracting customers by DESIGN/WOW! (Applies to EVERY enterprise including the 1-person accountancy.)

*It’s ALWAYS the “little” stuff—”Little BIG Things” (RADICAL “bias for execution.”)

*”THE CUSTOMER PAYS THE BILLS!” (It may be a “yawner”—but it ALWAYS bears repeating.)

[Ed.: PDF and PPT are available for downloading.]

Tom Peters posted this on November 13, 2015, in Service.
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