Early on, companies don’t know who their best customers are. So you can’t really be customer-centric right out of the gate, and that’s what’s paradoxical about it.
Many companies need a couple of years to build all that infrastructure for identifying and targeting their top 20%. Even once you have the CRM system, it’s still not enough to look at the customers on the top of that list and give them the white glove service. While they might be more valuable than the other customers you’ve gotten so far, but they might not be the best possible ones. Companies need to be patient, and constantly be fishing for even better customers. There could always be better ones out there, and they could be changing. The ones that you thought were the best yesterday may not be the best tomorrow.
It’s a constant focus on customer acquisition. Too many companies get distracted by the fact that it costs so much more to acquire customers than it does to retain them. While that’s true, it’s critical to invest the resources to figure out who those best customers are, because it’s going to be much more effective to find them and then build your business around them, rather than just looking at the ones you have and trying to make them great.
It takes time. It’s a never-ending process. And even when you find success, you can’t stop. Too often companies declare victory because they think they’ve found the right ones, then they tend to take their foot off the pedal with customer acquisition. When they do that, they are sub-optimizing their next generation of customers.