Harvard Business School Working Knowledge has an interesting article on this topic:
Call it the dominance trap: The larger a company's market share, the greater the risk it will take its customers for granted. As the money flows in, management begins confusing customer profitability with customer loyalty, never realizing that the most lucrative buyers may also be the angriest and most alienated.
A recent Bain & Company survey reveals just how commonly companies misread the market. We surveyed 362 firms and found that 80 percent believed they delivered a "superior experience" to their customers. But when we asked customers about their own perceptions, we found that they rated only 8 percent of companies as truly delivering a superior experience. Clearly, it's easy for leading companies to assume they're keeping customers happy; it's quite another thing to achieve that kind of customer devotion.
So what sets the elite 8 percent apart? We found that they take a distinctively broad view of the customer experience. Unlike most companies, which reflexively turn to product or service design to improve customer satisfaction, the leaders pursue three imperatives simultaneously:
- They design the right offers and experiences for the right customers.
- They deliver these propositions by focusing the entire company on them with an emphasis on cross-functional collaboration.
- They develop their capabilities to please customers again and again—by such means as revamping the planning process, training people in how to create new customer propositions, and establishing direct accountability for the customer experience.