Case Study #4

“What do our customers think of us?”

The newly promoted CEO and newly promoted VP of Marketing felt they were flying blind with no customer feedback on file whatsoever. They weren’t willing to make growth plans without knowing something about their customers’ attitudes.

What we found out

This started out as a routine “customer feedback study” but quickly became a strategic planning tool. When we looked at the source of the positive and negative feedback we heard, a pattern was clear. Large turnkey customers felt this supplier’s quality was high and often used this vendor exclusively; smaller component customers felt quality was inconsistent, often demanded rework, and were forced to have back-up suppliers. Until this came to light, the company had been proud that it serviced all comers. However, the opportunity cost of trying to service such a broad mix of accounts cut into this company’s revenue potential. Apparently it was time to redefine who they were.

How business was affected

Feedback from the customer base allowed this manufacturer to recognize its strengths and realign its business accordingly. It referred away its smaller customers to competitors and retooled its message, marketing and growth plans to appeal to larger prospects. The company invested in the equipment needed to round out product lines targeted to large-volume customers. They also redeployed the sales staff to focus exclusively on large-account sales.

How revenue was affected

Revenues grew rapidly from $36 million to $100 million in four years. This firm was then acquired by a multi-national corporation.

This project’s objectives

Minimize the revenue risk of underperforming accounts
Increase annual sales to existing customers


Turnkey and component manufacturing, $36 million in sales