Companies that achieve and sustain
business success have mastered the ability to develop
long-term quality, relationships with their customers.
These relationships are sustainable through good times
and bad because they are based on mutual commitment,
caring and investment in collaboration to achieve
At GuideStar Research, we
believe that measuring the quality of your customer
relationships is central to customer research that
will result in improved business performance. The
dimensions of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty,
though important, only partially constitute a high-quality
customer relationship that produces improved, sustainable
Many traditional customer
satisfaction and loyalty surveys are flawed for two
- Lack of a central focus on
measuring the quality of the relationship
- Lack of specific relationship
analytic measurement and diagnostic processes and
Our processes and methods are
designed to develop a clear understanding of the critical
dimensions and patterns of interactions within a specific
customer relationship that must function well to produce
healthy business outcomes.
Often, traditional customer
satisfaction and customer loyalty surveys measure
some individual trees and groves instead of examining
the overall health of the forest, the ecological trends
within the forest and the force-field interactions
between the forest and the surrounding natural elements
upon which it depends for its health and survival.
GuideStar's mission is
to apply our specialized relationship research methods
and experience to assist and guide you in developing
quality relationships with their customers. Our relationship
research methods and process have been developed and
refined from over a decade of research experience
with tens of thousands of business-to-business customers
in hundreds of companies from a broad variety of industries.
High-quality customer relationships
are marked by:
Customer relationships are
a complex mixture of business dimensions and interpersonal
relationships. One analytic method we have developed
to clarify and define a customer relationship is the
Relationship Ladder. It has proven to be a reliable
and accurate statistical measure.
Customers are asked to classify
their current relationship with you into one of seven
categories ranging across a spectrum from the most
intimate type of business relationship (strategic
partner) to the most alienated type of business relationship
(wouldn't do business with you if I didn't have to).
Through extensive in-depth research
with decision makers, using both qualitative and quantitative
methods, we are able to determine the critical attributes
required for you to move up the Relationship Ladder
to higher quality relationship levels with their customers.
And because our Relationship Ladder
analysis also measures the type of relationship a
customer aspires to achieve with you, any gap between
their current relationship and their ideal relationship
reveals the "Aspirational Opportunity" inherent
in the relationship. Through GuideStar consultants'
recommendations and guidance, we assist you to better
meet their customers' desire of achieving their ideal
relationship. The goal is to move the customer relationship
up to the highest levels possible on the Relationship
Though this may require a substantial
strategic repositioning effort to change the customer's
perception of the strategic value of the vendor, the
rewards can be great, producing dramatic improvements
in business outcomes, performance and organizational
Each successively higher
level on the relationship ladder represents tangible,
measurable gains in improved business outcomes with
a customer in terms of preferential treatment, trust,
referencing, new large-scale sales opportunities plus
increased openness and collaboration on long-term
strategic planning and commitments.
Though the highest level on the
Relationship Ladder, "Strategic Partnership,"
is attained by a relatively small number of vendors
with each customer, the advantages of moving up the
ladder to levels just below "Strategic Partner"
can produce significant improvements in the business
outcomes with a given customer.
The "sweet spot"
on the Relationship Ladder, where far more vendors
can achieve highly desirable customer relationships
with a customer, is just below "Strategic Partner"
on the ladder.
GuideStar's research process
and methods are designed explicitly to develop a clear
pathway of well-defined attributes (attitudes, behaviors,
policies, programs, resources and leadership commitment)
that you can develop and employ to move their customer
relationships up the ladder to more beneficial levels.
A Relationship Ladder Pathway
is developed by GuideStar consultants. It requires
an in-depth examination and analysis of your customer
To learn more about GuideStar's
Relationship Ladder analytics,
or call us at 212-426-2333.