Service-Profit Chain:

Customer Intimacy

Customer Partnership

Involving Customers in the Creation and Refinement of Products and Services

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!


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"Think of the company-client relationship as a partnership rather than two "ships" passing in the night."  

Arthur Andersen

More Customer Success Quotes


8 Best Practices of Successful Companies

8 Attributes of Corporate Success

  • Continued contact with customers... More

10 Commandments of Innovation

CUSTOMER PARTNERSHIP - Involving Customer as Co-innovators

10 Extreme Leadership Best Practices

Managing the Challenges of a Volatile and Chaotic Economy

  • Partner with customers: Now, more than ever, customer satisfaction and retention are critical to success. You must partner with your customers, reconnect with them to create a shared future that is more secure than either could have built alone... More

Customer Intimacy

NLP Technology of Achievement

3 Rules for Dealing with Rude and Unfair Clients

  • To salvage the relationship, search for a solution in cooperation with your client; re-focus his or her attention from the problem to the solution ask him or her, what is it you can do to resolve the conflict... More

6Ws of Corporate Growth

  1. Know WHAT:  develop leaders, empower employees, build teams, establish strategic alliances, partner with customers... More


Customer Partnership Defined

"Customer partnership is a shared journey to create a future for both parties that is better than either could have developed alone."1


The customer influences every aspect of your business and is the foundation of your organization's success. In today's turbulent times of rapid and chaotic change, "no force is more grounding and stabilizing than a partnership with customers."1 The term 'customer partnership' we take not so much in its legal definition of co-ownership but rather in its sense of  sharing in benefits, profits and losses of your company.

Customer Success 360

Customer partnership is more than "putting customers first", or  finding mutually satisfactory solutions to shared problems, or  a dedication to excellence in every sale or service encounter. It also requires commitment to forging long-term relationships that create synergies of knowledge, security, and adaptability for both parties.

The Tao of Value Innovation

Why Customer Partnership?

Fierce competition today forces companies to become much more creative and flexible in their dealings with customers to give them exactly what they want faster. Creating a partnership with customers will help your organizations maintain the focus you need to make good decisions and harness the power and commitment you need to weather volatile times. Partnering with customers represents your firm's "capacity to anticipate what customers need even before they know they need it."2

 Case in Point  BMW

In partnership with its customers and external innovators, BMW is constantly seeking to discover new technologies and design features to put into future cars. To harvest the insights of creative minds outside the BMW Group, the firm's Virtual Innovation Agency (VIA) is the point of contact for all external innovators who do not as yet have contacts within the firm. VIA makes it easy for car fans to communicate their ideas through its web-site, with additional online discussions that solicit ideas from enthusiasts around the world.

3 Sstrategies of Market Leaders

IDEO's Innovation Practice Tips

  • Build bridges from one department to another, from your company to your prospective customers, and ultimately from the present to the future... More

Become an Irresistible Sales Communicator

Synergistic communications takes the sales process beyond building relationships to building partnership. The goal is to create a "we" space where differences are valued and used as stepping stones to create true win-win outcome... More


Synergistic Selling

The Role of Corporate Leaders

Because only corporate leaders have the ability to significantly change an organization, design radically new value innovation strategies and deploy the resources required to pursue boldly big opportunities, it is imperative that people at the top be in regular and direct contact with customers.

 Case in Point  GE

Involve customers, urged  Jack Welch. Quality program is aimed at enhancing satisfaction of your customers. Find out what customers want. Involve them to participate in your work, to drive it, to "manage your enterprise."

25 Lessons from Jack Welch


 Discover much more in the


Two Basic Ways to Compete and Prosper in Any Market...

Three Common Traits of Marketplace Champions...

Rules for Creating Customer Partnerships...

Increasing Customer Value-added through Virtual Integration...

Customer Intimacy...

Listening To You Customers...

Coaching Your Customers...

Value Innovation...

Involving Your Customers in New Product Development...

Mutual Creativity In Your Business Environment...

 Case in Point  Dell Computer Corporation...

 Case in Point  Nypro...

 Case in Point  Corning...

 Case in Point  Nike...




  1. Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmett C. Murphy and Mark A. Murphy

  2. Results-Based Leadership, Dave Ulrich, Jack Zenger, and Norm Smallwood

  3. Best Practices: Building Your Business with Customer-Focused Solutions, Arthur Andersen

  4. Agenda, Michael Hammer

  5. Direct from Dell, Michael Dell with Catherine Fredman

  6. Customer Intimacy, Fred Wiersema

  7. It's not the BIG and eats the SMALL... it's the FAST that eats the SLOW, J. Jennings and L. Haughton

  8. Winning Customers, Vadim Kotelnikov