Customer intimacy is defined as a marketing strategy that establishes long-term relationships between a company and its customers in order to fully understand their needs and wants. The company is able to anticipate the customer’s needs due to the connection they have with the brands they love which lead to the generation of new products for the customers. The reason for establishing this connection is to understand why customers purchase products as well as the decision-making process related to purchasing.
The natural logic of a company or a business is selling products or services to customers in order to make money. Customer intimacy reverses this logic by putting customers before profits. Companies that are more customer-intimate focus more on the end services, rather than making money (selling a product). These companies are said to go through a transformation rather than a transition because its implementation requires;
- Trade-offs – the company should identify which market segments it intends to capture. A deeper understanding of customers is required and being able to come up with new products and solutions hence companies need assurance that customers will be able to pay for any product. Also, the customer base needs to be segmented since not all customers are equal.
- Organizational change – the company needs to be configured in such a way that all processes simplify and offer quality customer experience, customer needs and wants. Opinions are the core of the organization, customer research and analysis is crucial to making process decisions. Employees should also fully interact with customers hence highly engaged customers. The objectives of the business should be aligned with practical, philosophical and moral needs that are of utmost importance to customers.
- Focused leadership – on the road to achieving full customer intimacy, leaders should prioritize customer service, customer focus, and efficient operations; ensuring that they are implemented well. This is costly, but they should make the whole process as lean as possible by eliminating anything within the process that does not create value. A lean process coupled with an intimate end service helps customers enjoy the benefits of the intimacy strategy and the lean process.
It is difficult for organizations to be customer-intimate because of the complexity of its execution as well as the cost incurred. However, they should think of the potential long-term gains of achieving intimacy rather than short-term profits. Companies and organizations should find less costly ways of forging intimacy with customers.