Steve Blank - Customer relationships
Customer relationships - How do I reach them, how do I gain them and how do I win them for the future? Customers are sales and revenue means reinvestment...
Creating a product is often seen as the most difficult thing and as a hurdle in a startup. Once it is done you want to deliver to your customers...But will it be??? You want to win clients, that is the stated goal. You will quickly realize that when you are confronted with this, creating the product is not always the most complicated thing. How do I reach my customers? Take for example a hunter that uses a musket, also known as a shotgun, to bring down an animal. At first the bullet looks very solid but as soon as it is shot the cartridge opens and many pellets (about 30-140) are scattered onto the animal. Some hit the organs or fly past and others cause nothing at all. That is how it is with reaching customers. The problem lies herein that costs and time play a bigger role. First of all, it’s important to know HOW I can reach my customers. We discussed this briefly in our previous article “Which sales channels are there?”
If the hunter does shoot the animal it does not necessarily mean that it is was brought down, and this also applies to us. Maybe we got the attention of a customer and he stored it in the back of his mind. With that we have - and we can be very proud of that - taken a very important hurdle. One has heard - respectively of our product - about us. This factor can, depending on the context of how they heard of you, create a first basis of trust and thus the opportunity to gain a potential prospect as a customer.
If life as a startup was just that easy. We wowed our customer and now he has decided to purchase from us. What happens now? Of course, whoever has the only bakery in the street or nearby area will sell their bread again tomorrow. It is obvious that a commodity which is used/consumed daily can also be sold tomorrow. The comfortableness of people will excuse a faux pas made by their baker and will still go on to buy his bread next week. But in the Internet age, many products are no longer subordinated to demand and supply since the possibility to orient yourself otherwise is given. If I buy at A and then go to a search engine, I will receive advertisement from B. As a product manufacturer we hardly have the chance to build customer loyalty. E-mails that are aimed to attempt to fool people to believe they have a personal relationship are simply ridiculous. If I want to survive, I have to make sure my customers are my customers tomorrow.
As already described in our previous article, there is a significant difference (which we already experienced with the bread) between physical goods/distribution channels and virtual goods/distribution channels. For both, however, the "Customer Life Cycle" is always the same:
Get - Keep - Grow
In our next segments, we will focus on these three pillars.
This article is written by our CEO, Bernd Korz. With his experience as an entrepreneur, he shares his vision about the lessons provided by Steve Blank. Join us every week for a new article on Steve Blank’s lectures.
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