Customer Relationships

Customer relationships describes the type of relationship a company establishes with it’s specific customer segments. Customer relationships are driven by customer acquisition, customer retention, and boosting sales – in other words you need to get, keep, and grow your customer relationships.

Customer Segments

Need to answer:

  1. What type of relationship does each customer segment expect us to establish?
    1. Atmosphere
    2. Customer service
    3. Interactions
  2. Which ones have we established?
    1. Preconceived notions about the industry
  3. How costly are the customer relationships?
  4. How are they integrated with the rest of our business model?

Categories of Customer Relationships:

  • Personal Assistance
  • Dedicated Personal Assistance
  • Self-Service
  • Automated Services
  • Communities
  • Co-Creation

Get. Keep. Grow.

Steve Blank’s philosophy for Customer Relationships centers around this funnel which represents the idea of getting or acquiring new customers, keeping them, and growing their value to the business.

Viral Loop (as explained by Steve Blank) – A viral loop is formed through a positive customer experience with your Value Proposition. For example: if a customer is happy with your product, he or she may be excited to share the news about the product and services your company has to offer with others (i.e. friends and family). This viral effect will create quick and cost-effective awareness (or brand recognition) for your company.                                                “Well, this happened for hundreds of years, but now we could sometimes engineer this viral loop by saying–is there anything that we can do, any incentives, any ways to kind of get rebates. Is there a way to turn our customers into sales people to kind of accelerate this purchase to help us get new customers.”                                                                                       — Steve Blank

Steve Blank’s ideology behind the viral loop is simple; how can we use current customers (who are satisfied with our product or service) to our advantage? How can we use these customers to help promote our products and services?

***This viral loop can be viewed as a type of channel (word of mouth).

Customer Relationships

Customer Relationship Funnel

Our Experience:

The DoughJoe- Here we saw an incredible opportunity to make huge leaps over our competitors. I explained it to the group this way: H-E-B and Buc-ee’s have made incredibly successful business by focusing on this segment of the BMC. They took business models that were always taken for granted – a grocery store and a gas station, respectively – and made them into an experience. Who has ever been to a spectacular doughnut shop? Not ’til DoughJoe opens its doors.

Crepe Expectations- We interviewed 30 customers to get an idea of what the best method to get their attention and “acquire” them as a customer would be as well as get an idea of what kind of what programs and incentives would help keep our customers coming back. From our data, we concluded that loyalty cards and discounts would be the best way to keep our customers coming back and social media and word of mouth were the best channels to acquire our customers.

List of interview questions:

Interview Questions

For more information and further reading, click here.

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