How many of us march along trying to make the things that we are used to doing work for all of our customer segments?
Just because it worked well for the first group of customers we serviced doesn’t mean it will work well for the next group.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), the world is not a uniform place, it contains great diversity and how we approach and manage the diversity in our customers often determines our success.
Having saturated our local market for our first customer segment we are faced with two choices: expand our geographic reach and for some of us that means going offshore, or expand into new customer segments.
Sometimes, when we haven’t considered segmentation in our start up, we find ourselves servicing disparate customer segments and wonder why it is harder working with some customers than others.
Often, new customer segments require a change in business model. This is because your value proposition is different for the next segment i.e. you are solving different problems, or the same problem on a different scale.
The new segment may require a rethink of the type of relationship you have with customer, perhaps moving from a “personal assistance” model to a “self service” model. It can also mean a rethink of the channels you use to reach your customer at each stage of the relationship, this could mean moving from a direct sales force to a sales partner, or direct selling to indirect self purchasing.
It may also mean a change in key activities and key resources for the segment or open an opportunity to develop new partnerships.
Have you segmented your customers and if so, do you have the right business model for each segment or are you trying to force the same model across all your customers?
Just remember …