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Role of Customers in Strategic Planning Process

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Essay title: Role of Customers in Strategic Planning Process

Strategic planning is a continuous and systematic process where the guiding members of an organization make decisions about its future, develop the necessary procedures and operations to achieve that future, and determine how success is to be measured. For many successful organizations, the voice of the customer drives their operations and charts the course for their future. Companies have begun focusing on customers as one of the key drivers in planning for the future in the following ways:

• "All plans are hard-wired to the customer."

• "A long-range plan cannot be designed without the input of customers."

• "There are no bosses within the corporation except the customer."

• "Locking in on the customer is the way to survive in changing times."

The organizations use aggressive and varied ways to locate and listen to the "Voice of the Customer." For this reason, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has increasingly found at the top of corporate agendas. Companies are embracing CRM as a major element of corporate strategy, because current technological applications permit a precise segmentation, profiling and targeting of customers, and the competitive pressures of the markets require a customer-centric corporate culture. The implementation of CRM in “best-in-class” organisation determines

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