Customer intimacy or consumer partnership is one of the three values of Wiersema and Treacy’s business strategy model. The model includes three different value strategies: operational excellence, product leadership and customer intimacy. If your company focuses on one of these strategies, you create unique added value and a distinctive character that leads to market leadership.

image that illustrates that Customer intimacy creates the best service possible

What is customer intimacy?

Within the value strategy of customer intimacy, the consumer is your main priority. This translates into optimised consumer service, adequate attention for the consumer (experience) and a focus on long-term relationships with the consumer, the customer lifetime value. A customer relationship management system for efficiently managing customer relationships plays a key role here.

If your company focuses on customer intimacy, it is important to map out the wishes and needs of the target group and incorporate these into your business strategy. This way, as a company you have a finger at the pulse of your consumers and anticipate on that. It is vital that your company builds up consumer knowledge. To this end, you can use systems that activate acquired consumer knowledge and convert it into an optimal solution for each individual consumer. As such, you will be offering tailor-made products and services. Customer intimacy firmly believes that “the customer is king”.

This business strategy should take into account the fact that striving for sustainable consumer relationships only makes sense if those relationships are profitable in the long term. It is best to focus on those consumers who need your expertise and advice. Consumers who already know exactly what they need from your company will only select on features and price and are therefore not an interesting target group within your customer intimacy strategy. Opting for the customer intimacy strategy is only useful if consumers can adapt your products or services to their preferences in the form of mass customisation.

How to implement customer intimacy in your business

With consumer partnership, you strategically choose to tie consumers to the company. How? By always offering them the best solution, going far beyond mere consumer focus. Choosing a customer intimacy strategy does not only affect the departments that deal with the consumer directly. Call on your entire company to create the best consumer experience.

If you most identify with this business strategy of customer intimacy, it is crucial that your company fulfils the following characteristics:

  • The consumer is at the heart of your company’s mission and vision
  • Your key performance indicators and business processes are geared towards the needs of the consumer
  • Employees are being coached in the way of consumer affinity and skills
  • Employees are given the space and flexibility they need to meet all the wishes of the consumer and to solve problems in a focused way
image that illustrates what Customer intimacy entails

Customer intimacy as Coolblue’s business strategy

Coolblue is a Dutch company strongly committed to customer intimacy. The e-commerce company goes all the way to build a good relationship with the consumer. This starts from the first moment of contact until the delivery of the order, and certainly also afterwards.

Recognised as the most consumer-friendly web shop of 2020, Coolblue stands out with excellent customer service, experience and attention. When a consumer needs advice, Coolblue is ready to provide it to the consumer quickly. The customer can reach the company through a multitude of communication channels, such as telephone, e-mail, social media, internet, the Coolblue app and through their physical shops.

Consumer satisfaction stands above all else at Coolblue and this is reflected in their entire operation. Need proof of this. What about their consumer rating averaging 9.1/10, their ‘same-day delivery’ service and their tag line “Anything for a smile”.

Is your company also fully committed to the motto “The customer is king”? Does your company go the extra mile to build and, above all, maintain relationships with consumers? Discover together with comma, brand strategists, how we can upgrade your business strategy to a customer intimacy strategy and conquer the market in which you operate.