Most organizations easily thrive in markets with mass-market attributes. They however tend wither when in markets with sophisticated attributes and for that matter most shy away from such specialized markets.
You ever wondered why niche players in most industry markets are very highly skilled, agile and make the most money and with comparatively low cost of provision and retention?
The sophisticated customer has access to information, is well read, well travelled, knowledgeable, an expert of sorts, exposed, is assertive, very direct. The weight of the sheer complexity of managing such clients cannot be compared to the sheer specificity of their demand: and therein lies their value and advantage to any organization. There’s nothing like a miss, ever.
They teach an organization to drop all they think they know to now listen, take records and understand enough to produce/provide the exacts, minimizing wastes.
Back in ancient Greece, the sophist was a person who reasoned with clever but fallacious arguments, a paid philosopher. The guy/gal who would make fallacious arguments all day in the Agora. But then again aren’t most of the so-called “fallacies” of those centuries our realities today?
I am pretty sure if Pythagoras, Leibniz, Newton and some of the brilliant men and women of past centuries ever saw a line of code, They’d not hesitate to call it the language of the devil himself and organize the burning at the stake of whoever was that possessed enough to be coding in their times. That sense of contempt for people who challenge us on such scales hasn’t changed a bit with regards to the way organizations treat the sophisticated customer, thereby losing the edge in key areas such as:
The sophisticated customer will reveal who your weakest hires are. Because of all they are and what they come with, employees who are able to handle them are mostly top notch (skilled, curious, creative, intelligent, resourceful, disciplined). Your talent-sourcing better take a cue from them to improve on quality of hire especially when the results aren’t good. The excesses of the sophisticated customer do not distract the best people. They focus and take enough feedback to make their organizations win
Every process that seeks to fulfill your brand promise from onboarding to retention and even exit has to be one that is effective, efficient, relevant, valid, usable and measured. The sophisticated customer will assure this for you if you don’t shy away from relating to them.
Many businesses have moved/relocated from mismatched/non-aligned neighborhoods as a result of the sophisticated customer. They will make you come to terms with the exact address that fits your business if you didn’t get it right the first time so don’t shun them. They’ll even affect the design and aesthetic feel of this new place if you allow yourself. After all, for whom did you set the business up?
Systems are quite tricky especially in this day and age where security issues with databases have brought disastrous consequences on erstwhile blue-chip organizations. That notwithstanding, the sophisticated customer is useful in ensuring your system checks boxes like accountability and ownership, Feedback, elimination of bottlenecks, security etc.
Everything the sophisticated customer will drive you towards is to produce/provide the best solution that will be of value to their expense with no waste to you. They will push you to deploy right and fast, be differentiated, agile and above all, global.
Sophistication associates with success and abhors mediocrity. Organizations that embrace such customers and dream with them will do more, innovate more and faster and quickly turn novelties of competitors into mere industry standards.