From March through June 2010, Accenture, in partnership with the American Chemistry Council and TrueChoice® Solutions, conducted a study to develop a better understanding of the factors that drive decisions around the selection of suppliers in the industry. The result, the Accenture Global Customer Preferences Study for Chemicals, explores the buying values in the industry today, and helps identify areas of opportunity in buyer-supplier engagement.
Conducted online, the study surveyed buyers and sellers across the industry. It involved more than 1,300 respondents, representing companies up and down the industry value chain, and from both emerging and mature economies around the globe. The respondents came from all roles in customer engagement processes including procurement, product design and management, marketing, customer support, technology, R&D and manufacturing.
Our survey and analysis resulted in clear preference profiles among buyers, enabling a thorough assessment of customer values across the industry value chain. Some of the findings were expected, others were not.
Many of the findings point to areas where there is a need for closer alignment between the needs of customers and standard industry practice?and often, to opportunities that suppliers can pursue to grow revenues and market share. The key, to a great extent, is improved customer insight and customer segmentation, working in conjunction with operational excellence?in other words, level of customer centricity.
Customer centricity does not mean rushing to give every customer better service, or treating all customers more or less the same. It is a wake-up call to do exactly the opposite, and focus on treating different customers in the most appropriate manner that is, to become "customer smart."