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Article -> Behavior Leads to Valued Customers

Date Added: October 2005

The following is a case study of an organization that used the Voice of the Customer process, which identifies, measures, communicates and implements what the customer really wants. The results help strengthen supplier/customer partnerships, resulting in increased profitability.

Every organization wants to be profitable. Accomplishing this requires keeping your most valued customers completely satisfied. In a commoditized market, many companies offer similar services, while few provide differentiated customer service.

The banking industry is a prime example of keeping customers completely satisfied. First Citizens Bank has locations in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The bank is focused on keeping its most valued customers satisfied by offering them a wide array of products. First Citizens Bank defines valued customers as those that are active with their finances and interested in a long-term partnership with the bank. This insight increases the brand awareness of First Citizens Bank of "doing something amazing."1 By listening to the Voice of the Customer, First Citizens Bank is keeping its customers completely satisfied, generating increased revenues, and creating market differentiation.

To keep track of its valued customers, First Citizens Bank identifies those with the most valuable assets in the bank. "Active" customers typically use more products, such as investing in Certificate of Deposits (CD) and mutual funds, and having lines of credit. They also show a need for wealth management services, which puts the bank in a role to add profitability with its valued customers. Successful companies understand that existing customers offer the greatest profit potential.

Research continuously supports the following:2

  • Loyal customers drive revenue growth up to 20 percent.
  • Up to 95 percent of profits come from long-term customers.
  • Adding a new customer costs three to seven times more than keeping a current one.

Organizations that invest in understanding customers' needs will become market leaders - or widen their gap if already a leader. By keeping its current customers completely satisfied and being proactive with listening to their needs, First Citizens Bank is generating revenues from its most valued customers to continuously stay ahead of the competition.

1 Gaffney, John. "Holding Out for a Hero." 1 to1 Magazine: May/June 2005:19.
2 Yeghiaian, David. "Customer retention needs to be top priority." The Business News: May 9, 2005:36.

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