How to create differentiation in customer interaction?

hpo Practical Case Industry

How to create differentiation in customer interaction?

hpo Practical Case Industry

Products are becoming increasingly interchangeable during their life cycle. This makes it increasingly difficult for customers to make a purchase decision based on the specification of the product. This applies especially to so-called commodities. However, what the customer does notice is differentiation based on services along his interaction with his supplier.

Suppliers who can define their interactions based on customer added value and control their development in a targeted manner have a distinct competitive advantage and thus differentiate themselves decisively from their competitors.

Differentiation in customer interaction creates clear added value.

Aim of the project

For the management of a global composite materials supplier, it was clear that aligning its interactions with the customer process was a differentiating factor. This involved standardizing frequent points of contact, such as the response time for customer feedback or the process in the offer and order clarification phase. The aim was to design a global business process model that is completely geared to customer needs, with defined standards for customer touchpoints.


Customer interaction was made more efficient by means of a tailor-made business process design. A business process model is the prerequisite for the implementation of a strategy. It aligns the processes with the strategy, and ensures the optimal functioning of the organisation. It makes end-to-end responsibilities in the company transparent, increases the performance of the company, and provides the competitiveness of the entire organisation. In the case of the composite materials supplier, distinct responsibilities for sub-processes and the necessary working documents to optimize interfaces were defined. This simplified the frequent touchpoints, reduced unnecessary inquiries, and improved the response time for customer feedback. During the project, hpo deliberately included the service providers in the solution development process. hpo also ensured that “unpleasant” issues were brought to the table and that problems were solved in the long term. Those affected became responsible and implemented what they had worked out. This led to a maximal learning effect, which is an essential prerequisite for top performance.

The project was carried out in three phases:

  • Phase 1
    Creation of transparency by analyzing the actual processes and actual situation regarding the interaction with the customers to identify the global differences as well as their strengths and weaknesses and to derive the optimization levers.
  • Phase 2
    Development of the business process model in line with the strategy and a focus on the interaction with the customer (customer journey); Definition of global roles with clear responsibilities and optimal management structure.
  • Phase 3
    Process design as a starting point for designing customer interaction and defining measurement criteria for specific customer interactions.

The involvement of the service providers on a global level resulted in the high acceptance of the solution that also considered regional differences.


The methodical and transparent approach made it  possible to support the solution on a broad basis. Defined points of interaction with the customer set regional standards that made it easier to differentiate more clearly. The implemented model is the basis for performance monitoring and is to be further developed my means of the given transparency.

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Who is hpo?

hpo makes companies more successful and more innovative. The strategy consultancy for enterprise design boasts more than 25 years of experience in the creation of strategies and organisations spanning many different industries. The management consultants at hpo specialise in the meticulous development of strategies, processes, business models, innovation and culture, and in accompanying the transformation.

The hpo design approach enables companies to better cope with strategic and organisational challenges and to realise substantial competitive advantages. The basis of the industry-spanning design approach is an academically grounded methodology with which high performance organisations are shaped and which is continually further developed with the latest findings from research and practice.

The management consultants at hpo come from a commercial or technology background and stand out with their high level of analytical and emotional intelligence. They are passionate in their dedication to the client’s concerns and enjoy working in a team.

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