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Competitive advantage through anticipation,innovation and relationships

Опубликовано на портале: 11-12-2002
Management Decisions. 1999.  Vol. 37. No. 1. P. 51-56. 
While service quality has proved an essential ingredient in convincing customers to choose one organisation over another, many organisations have realised that maintaining excellence on a consistent basis is imperative if they are to gain customer loyalty. This long-term perspective has created a strong shift in orienting service strategy towards a service promise. Moreover, in the present competitive setting, if one were to understand the lifetime value of a customer, creating and maintaining long-term relationships with the customer and other stakeholders is paramount to an organisations market leadership. Relentless advances in technology have rendered products and services with ever shorter life cycles and, hence, diminished customer appeal. This paper argues that firms are required not only to improve, but to innovate products and services and anticipate customer needs on a continuous basis. It is highlighted here that, in order to maintain a longterm relationship with the customer, firms need to demonstrate their ability to think for the customer, and to conceive and implement new ways to serve them better. Moreover, in order to develop and maintain customer relationships, an organisation needs the assistance and partnership of their respective stakeholders; for example, employees, suppliers and distributors.
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