It’s rare to meet a marketer today who isn’t striving to be customer-centric. You know your company is customer-centric when your repeat business from existing customers is sky-high and word-of-mouth is bringing new customers in the door in droves. If that’s not the case you, like many companies, haven’t yet learned to fully optimize your customer relationships.

Countless books have been written on the subject. Why then do so few customers report their joy and satisfaction with the companies they buy from? We believe it’s because few marketers, no matter how seasoned or sophisticated, understand the true key principles of customer relationships.

And no wonder. Customers are just people and everyday relationships and communications with your spouse, your kids, your parents, or your colleagues are pretty darn tough. Why should it be easier to have a good, communicating, evolving relationship through myriad digital channels, with hundreds or thousands of people you don’t know as well, or ever see face to face?

The best customer loving comes from how well you know your customer from THEIR perspective, not yours. All corporate customer data is part of the puzzle to form a 360-degree view of the customer. However, what has meaning for the customer is what will ultimately boost the bottom line. If you can “hear”  through data insights what they want and value most, and you give it to them more often than anyone else, you have a recipe for a great, mutually profitable relationship.

This is your wakeup call! Your customer has been talking to you through click and search, by which email offers and ads they respond to, and by what they purchase, how often and how much. They have been telling you how your relationship is going, whether they are loyal and committed or ready to defect. Are you listening?