FOCUS: Customer Centric


By: Melanie Toups

Every successful business does two very important things really well.

Finding and keeping the right customers. What is it that makes a customer the “right customer?” Well, that’s easy. They value what we do. To make sure we identify the right customers, our business development team begins by researching new and emerging markets where companies are investing dollars and where there are low barriers to entry. Entering an established market with entrenched competitors is difficult. It takes a lot more time and resources to prove yourself in an established market. Are we up for that challenge? Let’s find out.
Once Danos enters a new market, the business development team starts qualifying customers. Each prospective customer goes through a prequalification process before Danos deems them the “right customer.” Some of the metrics used in this process include capital expenditure (capex) allocation, credit rating, safety culture and use of contract labor to name a few. Each company goes through this process before Danos agrees to perform work for them. Acquiring new customers is a continuous process that is critical to business growth.

After we find the “right customer,” how do we keep them? As we work on projects for our customers, we are able to gather important metrics that are used for ranking which customers are best aligned with Danos goals. If you are familiar with sports, then you will understand this concept. Athletes are measured according to their stats (metrics), and then they are ranked using those stats. We do the same thing with our customers using metrics that we find valuable such as current and potential revenue/profit, corporate alignment, geographic overlap, competitor entrenchment and historical barriers. Analyzing this data within our customer relationship management (CRM) tool on a biannual basis allows us to build customer engagement strategy goals. Strategies that include frequency of contact, type of contact and what support from which key Danos staff is needed along the way. These customer engagement strategies ensure that we are communicating the write messages to the right people at the right time to cultivate long lasting business relationships.

Keeping customers is just as important as finding new ones. As a matter of fact, studies show that finding new customers is five times more costly than retaining existing ones. Keeping a customer-centric focus is essential to this effort. Without customers, there is no business. Gandhi said it best, “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”

Melanie Toups

Melanie joined Danos in 2012 and is currently the sales operations analyst. She has worked with customer relationship management since 2009 and was on assignment as international CRM project manager in her previous job. She graduated from Nicholls State University with bachelors degrees in marketing and professional selling.


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