He Who Is Always Right: Customer Relationship Management

Not all customers want a relationship. Of those who do, not all want the same depth. And even among those who seek deep, emotional relationships, different customers will respond to varied degrees of their interaction. Some customers might be thrilled if the sales person remembers their name, but others might desire an effusive, personalized relationship with the seller. Can a firm comprehend how its customers wish to relate and use this understanding to formulate its marketing strategy? Professor Prashant Malaviya and Sarah Spargo propose a framework that allows businesses to understand the various ways customers might wish to relate with firms and how the relationships can be deepened. In the process, companies can learn how to satisfy customers continually and sustain their loyalty by forging optimal relationships. 6 Levels identified: Level 1 – Utility Need Level 2 – Convenience Need Level 3 – “Feeling at Ease” Need Level 4 – Personal Recognition Need Level 5 – Self-Expression Need Level 6 – Co-Creation Need

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