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Customer obsession, manifest in customer service, can be a key differentiator. This post explores the benefits, and business model impact of a customer obsessed organization.

Customers hooked by customer obsession provide benefits to the company. First the customer retention goes up, second current customers become fans, and provide free highly genuine advertising.

Customer obsession can also make up for other company disadvantages. For example, Amex has high annual fees, and is taken at less places then Visa and Master Card. T-mobile has worse cell coverage then AT&T. Starbucks, REI, and Apple have higher prices for equivalent products. Amazon has no retail presence for checking out products in person, quick purchases, or returns.

To build a business focused on customer obsession, there are impacts on the business model, here are the things I’m thinking.

This section needs more thinking

Key Resources:

  • Customer Service Employees
  • Information systems giving customer service deep knowledge of CRMs

Key Activities:

  • Training
  • Empowering line employees to take action for unexpected events.
  • Dominant KPIs for satisfaction (above volume) - wait time, resolution.
  • Willing to take a loss to ensure satisfaction.
  • Management support for satisfaction through out the organization.

Cost Impact:

  • Higher quality customer service reps (training, benefits)
  • Less scale out per customer service rep
  • Management of issues.

Revenue Impact:

  • Free Advertising from fans
  • Ability to charge higher prices for similar products.