The disciplines of marketing and sales have traditionally owned a controlling stake in building customer relationships. On the surface, this makes a certain amount of sense: We need to make customers aware of our offerings and get them in the door.
And certainly, this focus on attracting, or hunting, new customers has been a short-term win for businesses—a fix for executives and shareholders who need the instant gratification of higher and higher revenues at the end of the each quarter.
But for many hunters, the long-term results have been disastrous. That’s because these organizations have failed to understand and focus on the entirety of the customer journey. Specifically, they’ve neglected those touchpoints and interactions that come after the point of sale. They’ve ignored the needs that customers have as they actually learn, use, and get help with a product or service.
We’ve all seen the telltale signs of the hunting approach. Incomprehensible airline fare rules, draconian return policies, labyrinthine automated phone systems, insolent employees, and rage-inducing user interfaces have plagued the customer experience for decades.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when fed-up customers have, in turn, spent less money with a company, taken their business elsewhere, and warned their friends to steer clear. It’s what any of us would do if we were treated badly, had to jump through hoops to get the value that we’d paid for, or simply couldn’t find the value in what we had purchased.
But your company and your customers don’t have to go down this path. In Farm Don’t Hunt, Guy elucidates the farming approach to customer relationships. Following his advice will put you on the path to long-term customer and business success.