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Customers & Strategy

In our last post we briefly discussed the importance of leaders learning to look at customers in a more strategic way.

As a part of the overall system that comprises the Seven Summits, customers occupy a somewhat unique position in that they are not usually within our own organization. Where it is not unusual for some organizations to consider other departments within their own entity as “customers”, we want to focus on those that are on the outside.

We believe that it makes sense and is easier to understand if we look at customers and employees in a similar way. Recognizing that acquisition and retention of the right customers is akin to recruiting and retention of the best employees, and that both require planning to be successful is a good place to start.

Leaders learning to look at customers from a strategic perspective must first remove themselves from the day-to-day tactics and interactions with the current ones. This allows for a more unobstructed focus on the challenge of matching the future customer base to the future vision of the company.

Existing customers that align with the current and future visions of the company will hopefully be retained. But an important part of this process is looking first at what the company’s needs are and then matching the customers to them.

Only then can an organization truly have customers that can be identified as “strategic partners”.

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