The Must-Have Customer

Gordman, Robert; Brott, Armin
September 2006
Must-Have Customer - Business Book Summaries;2006, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p1
Book Summary
Book Summary
Customers are, of course, the lifeblood of any enterprise; however, winning and keeping the right customers is the key to sustaining increased profitability and growth. Customers fall into one of two categories: core customers and opportunistic customers. Core customers are those who believe strongly enough in the service or product a particular business provides that they are willing to pay a fair price for the security dealing with a company they know and trust. In contrast, opportunistic customers view products and services merely as commodities and will make their purchases from whichever business offers the lowest price. Typically, the opportunistic customer requires high-maintenance and generates low profits. Although it might seem as if servicing these customers serves the business well in the short term, these very characteristics of the opportunistic customer ensure falling profits in the long-term. In addition to core customers and opportunistic customers, the author introduces another classification: "must-have customers." Must-have customers are potential customers who have the same high-profitability characteristics of core customers. They are already purchasing similar products or services from another vendor, paying comparable prices, and expecting to receive high quality merchandise, outstanding customer service, the security of dealing with an organization they know and trust, and the benefit of conducting transactions easily. If this expectation is met, the must-have customer will become a loyal and profitable partner. For any enterprise to survive and thrive in the long-term, it needs to develop a strategy for identifying must-have customers, luring them away from competitors, and turning them into loyal core customers. T he Must-Have Customer lays out seven steps, which, together, allow readers to identify and maintain their core customers, while at the same time, seeking and winning over the elusive must-have customers - the customers that can take a business to the next level. The steps in The Must-Have Customer can help any company create actionable, practical strategies that management can employ to enable even healthy companies grow faster and become stronger


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