“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.

Research findings

This started out as a routine “customer feedback study” but quickly became a strategic planning tool. When I looked at the sources of positive and negative feedback, the pattern was clear: Large turnkey customers felt this supplier’s quality was high and often used this supplier exclusively; small customers often demanded rework and were forced to retain 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 a broad mix of accounts cut into this company’s revenue potential and profits. It was time to redefine who they were.

Company’s response

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

Revenue impact

Revenues grew rapidly from $36 million to $100 million in four years. This firm was then acquired by a multinational 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
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company owners and executives with P&L responsibility.

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