A Model: Customer Triangle

· · The customer triangle is one way to describe the customer-driven approach, ie strategy, systems and people, all revolve around customers' needs and are shaped by those needs


organisational development change management

(source: Karl Albrecht, 1994)

This triangle stresses the need to develop special insights into the needs of customers, and to have business strategies focused on customer values, rather than on organisational values. Consequently, there is a re-focusing of values, systems and people who express organisational values.

· · In looking at customer values, there is a hierarchy as shown in the table below.

organisational development change management

- basic= the first step, and needs to be "got right", ie producing the product wanted by the customer;

- expected= mediocre performance level that most organisations can attain, ie customer does not notice the supplier, and the supplier does not have customer loyalty;

- desired= the start of competitive advantage, ie handling customer needs, exceeding customer expectations, and the customer wants to continue the business relationship, ie. developed customer loyalty;

- unanticipated = you are ahead of the customer by realising/anticipating his/her future needs.

(source: Karl Albrecht, 1994)

· · This hierarchy shows that an organisation has to perform well on the first 2 levels of value just to do business with the customer. Only when an organisation can offer higher levels of value than its competitors is there any differentiation and competitive advantage

· · Performance at "desired" level 3 demonstrates that you are better than your competitors. As a result, customers will start to favour your organisation. If you achieve the un-anticipated level, then you get to a special place in your customer's eyes, and have a breakaway competitive position. On the other hand, if the un-anticipated becomes the norm, it becomes expected by your customer, and you have to continue to provide that level of service quality, or you will lose the customer


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