Customer Development Model

“Customer Development “ is a DHC focal point . The DHC Customer Development Model© describes the series of business process interactions (“touchpoints”) that make up the typical vendor / customer relationship. This model / approach has been used with a number of DHC's Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) clients, but can easily be applied / adapted to other industries.

This Model's critical underlying assumption is that both parties are successful only if their combined efforts satisfy the needs of an ultimate consumer. While the Model does not expressly include the consumer, meeting consumer needs is the ultimate measure of success.

The Model consists of five distinct elements.

  • Vendor
    The “Vendor” represents more than just the account manager calling on the customer. It represents all of the manufacturer's contact points involved in the various Business Process Touchpoints (e.g., Customer Service, marketing, Logistics, Finance, etc.).

  • Vendor Filters
    All of the things that influence how actions taken by the Vendor are received and perceived, both internally and by the Customer. These include Communications (such as those between Marketing or Product Supply and the Account Manager); IT Systems (such as Marketing and Sales Effectiveness systems or “MSE’s”, CRM systems such as Siebel, etc.) and Internal Structure/ Processes ( reporting relationships, approval processes, etc.).

  • Business Process Touchpoints
    Areas of interaction between the Vendor and the Customer.

  • Customer Filters
    The Customer’s equivalent to Vendor Filters. Understanding these is often critical to achieving the goal of impacting the ultimate consumer, particularly in the area of Demand Generation.

  • Customer
    As with the Vendor, the “Customer” represents not only the procurement agent, but all of the other functions of the customer organization involved in theBusiness Process Touchpoints.


The DHC Customer Development Model© is the foundation of an effective Customer Relationship Evaluation. DHC uses the Model to help our Clients understand the critical components of their customer relationships. These components can be evaluated for performance (customer satisfaction) and/or competitively benchmarked.

The Model can serve as the roadmap for any number of projects including :

  • Business Process Mapping
  • Business Process Effectiveness Assessments
  • Customer Satisfaction Studies
  • Business Process Reengineering
  • CRM Strategy Development

Contact DHC on how we can help you use the Customer Development Model© to create a roadmap for competitive strategy and leverage:
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