Customers: Their Relationship with Business-Level Strategies

Strategic competitiveness results only when the firm satisfies a group of customers by using its competitive advantages as the basis for competing in individual product markets. A key reason firms must satisfy customers with their business-level strategy is that returns earned from relationships with customers are the lifeblood of all organizations.

Who will be served? KEY ISSUES in BUSINESS- LEVEL. STRATEGY. What needs will be satisfied? How will those needs be satisfied?

The most successful companies try to find new ways to satisfy current customers and/or to meet the needs of new customers. Being able to do this can be even more difficult when firms and consumers face challenging economic conditions. During such times, firms may decide to reduce their workforce to control costs.This can lead to problems, however, when having fewer employees makes it harder for companies to meet individual customers’ needs and expectations. In these instances, some suggest that firms should follow several courses of action, including “babying their best customers” by paying extra attention to them and developing a flexible workforce by cross-training employees so they can fill a variety of responsibilities on their jobs.

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