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Strategic Customer Care: An Evolutionary Approach to Increasing Customer Value and Profitability

ISBN: 978-0-471-64342-5
320 pages
February 2000
Strategic Customer Care: An Evolutionary Approach to Increasing Customer Value and Profitability (0471643424) cover image


How to successfully apply the principles of customer care in any company

Most organizations today recognize the importance of improving customer care—the need to go beyond traditional customer service and truly manage customers as assets—but only about 6% apply its principles effectively. This book fully explains the three stages in the evolution of customer care. Readers will be guided through the process of acquiring customers, retaining them through segmentation and management of the relationship, and targeting their most significant marketing efforts to the most profitable segments.

  • Shows companies how to identify where they are in their own evolutionary process
  • Outlines successes and failures of companies, including Sears, CIBC, AT&T/Matrixx, Kodak, FedEx, and more
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Table of Contents





Chapter 1: The Stages in the Evolution of Customer Care
Building the Foundation: Where Are You Right Now?
The Stages of Evolution
What Stage Are You In?
Lessons Learned

Chapter 2: Who Are Your Customers?: The Need for Customer Profiles
Bulding the Foundation: Who Are My Customers and What Are Their Needs?
In Which Supplier Category Do You Fall?
The Significance of the Customer Profile: Why It Defines Your Stage
Information Gathering Best Practices
Lessons Learned

Chapter 3: Segmentation: Some Customers Are More Important Than Others
Building the Foundation: Not All Customers Are Created Equal
The Importance of Customer Segmentation
Getting Started: A Step-by-Step Guide to Segmentation Best Practices
Lessons Learned

Chapter 4: Focusing on Customer Needs Through the Voice of the Customer
Building the Foundation: The Voice of the Customer (VOC) Interview and Summary
Best Practices in Determining the VOC
Using Your Data
Lessons Learned

Chapter 5: The Importance of Technology: A Key Enabler
Building the Foundation: Choosing Your Technology Carefully
The Role of Technology: Matching It to Your Stage of Evolution
A Step-by-Step Approach to Technology Investments
Tools for Success
Lessons Learned

Chapter 6: Staged Customer Management
Building the Foundation: Customer Management Must Fit the Stage
A Staged Perspective on Customer Management Practices
Customer Complaint Management
Lessons Learned


Chapter 7: Your Survival Strategy for the Future: Why the Route Map is Essential
Using the Route Map: Perspectives on Strategic Customer Care
How to Overcome Common Reasons for Failure
A Fork in the Road Ahead— Which Path Will You Choose?
Lessons Learned

Chapter 8: Bringing the Process to Life: The Importance of Alignment
Using the Route Map: Aligning People and Process Steps
Step 1: Management Alignment and Mobilization
Step 2: Readiness Assessment: Is Everyone Ready for Change?
Step 7: Management Call to Action— Using Your Results to Build Your Team
Step 10: Team Training
Lessons Learned

Chapter 9: How to Support the Process: The Tools and Practices Needed for Information Gathering
Using the Route Map: Acquiring New Skills and Embracing New Technology
Revisiting the Importance of Customer Loyalty and Retention
Step 3: Customer Segmentation
Step 4: Customer Profiling
Step 6: Gap Analysis
Lessons Learned

Chapter 10: Action Planning: Building the Plan with Tools and Practices in Place
Using the Route Map: Time for Action
Step 8: Building Your Strategic Action Plan
Step 9: Customer Alignment
Step 11: Developing an Implementation Plan
Step 12: Performance Monitoring and Adjustment
Lessons Learned

Chapter 11: Destination: Success
Part I: Building the Foundation
Part II: Using the Route Map

Appendix A: Syndicated Research on Customer Satisfaction

Appendix B: The Project Charter

Appendix C: Sample Readiness Assessment

Appendix D: The Customer Profile

Recommended Reading List


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Author Information

Stanley A. Brown is the Leader of the Pricewaterhouse Coopers International Centre of Excellence in Customer Care. Part of the Market and Customer Management Practice of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the Centre works with organizations to enhance revenue and improve profitability through a focus on processes that touch the customer.

He is a frequent speaker on the topic of customer care, and writes regularly for newsletters and magazines, including Sales and Marketing Management and ICSA News. He is the author of four previous books: Practices of Leaders in Customer Support (Wiley, 1997), What Customers Value Most: How to Achieve Business Transformation by Focusing on Processes That Touch Your Customers (Wiley, 1995), Total Quality Service, and Creating the Service Culture.

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"At a time when the forces of globalization, restructuring, and volatile stock markets can result in companies losing perspective and focusing too much on internal issues, Stanley Brown is reminding us that customers are the lifeblood of every business. His analysis— supporting by 'best practice' examples of many leading ogranizations— underscores the importance of customer care for business survival."
Robert T.E. Gillespie, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, GE Canada

"Strategic Customer Care provides the reader with an impressive array of specific examples and best practices that illustrates a step-by-step approach to customer care. I highly recommend this book as a valuable resource— which offers practical advice and guidance, along with checklists and tools— to move an organization along the customer care journey."
Steve Hoisington, Program Director, IBM Rochester, AS/400 Quality and Customer Satisfaction, IBM

"This practical, step-by-step approach to building higher levels of customer care will help organaizations focus their resources on a key determination for success. Application of these principles will result in customer loyalty and business growth."
Rob M. Griffin, President and CEO, CSA International

"Strategic Customer Care provides an important, overview of outcomes that will motivate organizations to prepare for the next milennium. It is futuristic, strategic and pragmatic, demonstrating the probable outcomes of reading, believing, and doing what is visualized for the achievement of strategic customer care."
John Ramsey, Chairman, Milennium Task Force, Capital Health Authority

"Stanley Brown's new book moves customer care from rhetoric to reality. His case studies of best practice are on target for the 21st century manager. Strategic Customer Care provides an important roadmap to the future of strategic and value-added customer care."
Leland L. Nichols, Ph.D., Dahlgren Professor/Program Director, Service Management Program, University of Wisconsin-Stout

"An innovative approach to improving customer relationships. All companies should understand what 'stage of customer care' they are in, and the actions they need to take to progress."
Russ Olivier, Manager Reservations Business and Technology Planning, American Airlines, Inc.

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