The Psychology of Quality and More

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Vampires, Victims and Value

~ David Straker ~


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The fundamentals of any business is the exchange of value. Business started in barter and despite the complexities we lay upon it, still has this principle at the core of all transactions. Managing business means managing the primary transactions to ensure an equitable value exchange is sustained.

Simple in principle, value exchange can be complex in practice. For a start, there are many stakeholders in any business, from customers to partners to employees and various other groups, each with their own interests at heart. The most fundamental of these is the customer relationship, and it to this relationship that this article directly speaks. The principles are equally applicable to any relationship, because all relationships are sustained through the exchange of value to each party.


1. The Four Customers

The value that a customer receives can be low or high. This is fairly well understood. What is often forgotten, is that the company seeks to receive value from the customer, not only in financial terms, but also such common relationship factors as ease of access, loyalty and so on.

You can thus map customers on a chart that compares the value they receive from the relationship with the value that you receive from them.

Some customers are Darlings, with an equitable relationship for both them and the company. At the other end are the Dogs, who neither give nor get much.
Some customers are Victims, paying over the odds for what turns out to be a less than perfect product or service. And perhaps the worst are the Vampires, who suck you dry.



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