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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Aerospace Customer Engagement Strategy for Defense Contractor in North America


There are countless scenarios that require Customer Strategy. Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Customer Strategy to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. Let us analyze the following scenario.

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Consider this scenario: The company, a North American defense contractor in the aerospace sector, is facing challenges in maintaining and growing its customer base amid increased competition and market volatility.

Despite a robust product lineup and a previously loyal customer base, the organization has noticed a decline in repeat contracts and a lukewarm reception to new service offerings. The company needs to revitalize its Customer Strategy to improve customer retention, attract new business, and increase market share.



In assessing the situation at hand, one might hypothesize that the root causes of the organization's business challenges lie in a lack of customer engagement, an outdated understanding of customer needs, and possibly an undifferentiated value proposition in a highly competitive market.

Strategic Analysis and Execution Methodology

The company can benefit from a structured 5-phase Customer Strategy methodology, which ensures a comprehensive understanding of customer needs and market dynamics while fostering an agile and customer-centric culture within the organization. This methodology is often utilized by top consulting firms to drive customer-focused business transformation.

  1. Customer Insight and Segmentation: Initiate the process by gathering and analyzing data on current customers to understand their needs, preferences, and behaviors. Key questions include: What drives customer satisfaction? What are the segments within the customer base? Deliverables include customer profiles and segmentation models.
  2. Value Proposition Refinement: Based on the insights gathered, refine the company's value proposition for each customer segment. Explore questions such as: How does our offering stand out? What unique benefits do we provide? Interim deliverables consist of a refined value proposition and service design blueprints.
  3. Customer Journey Mapping: Develop detailed customer journey maps to identify touchpoints and pain points. This phase seeks to answer: What are the critical moments of engagement? How can we enhance the customer experience? Deliverables are comprehensive customer journey maps and experience enhancement strategies.
  4. Go-to-Market Strategy: Create a targeted go-to-market strategy that aligns with the refined value propositions and customer journeys. Key considerations include: Which channels and tactics will maximize reach and impact? How can we measure success? Deliverables include a go-to-market plan and performance metrics.
  5. Continuous Improvement and Innovation: Establish mechanisms for ongoing feedback and innovation to adapt to changing customer needs and market conditions. Key activities include setting up customer feedback loops and fostering a culture of innovation. The main deliverable is an innovation roadmap with milestones.

Learn more about Business Transformation Customer Experience Service Design

For effective implementation, take a look at these Customer Strategy best practices:

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Design Thinking (225-slide PowerPoint deck and supporting PDF)
Customer Journey Mapping (143-slide PowerPoint deck)
Customer Experience Strategy - Template and Guide (56-slide PowerPoint deck)
10 Principles of Customer Strategy (22-slide PowerPoint deck)
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Customer Strategy Implementation Challenges & Considerations

When addressing concerns regarding the adaptability of the methodology in a rapidly changing defense market, it is important to emphasize the iterative nature of the approach, which allows for flexibility and responsiveness to market shifts. The methodology is designed to incorporate new data and insights continuously.

The expected business outcomes include improved customer retention and acquisition rates, increased market share, and enhanced brand reputation. These outcomes are often quantified through metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and market penetration rates.

Potential implementation challenges include organizational resistance to change and data silos that hinder comprehensive customer analysis. Overcoming these requires strong leadership commitment and a cross-functional approach to strategy execution.

Learn more about Strategy Execution Customer Retention Net Promoter Score

Customer Strategy KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.
     – Lord Kelvin

  • Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI): Measures the satisfaction of customers with the company's products and services.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Indicates the likelihood of customers to recommend the company to others, reflecting customer loyalty.
  • Customer Retention Rate: Tracks the percentage of customers who continue to do business with the company over a given period.
  • Rate of New Customer Acquisition: Gauges the effectiveness of go-to-market strategies in attracting new clients.
  • Revenue Growth from Existing Customers: Assesses the success of upselling and cross-selling initiatives.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

Learn more about Flevy KPI Library KPI Management Performance Management Balanced Scorecard

Implementation Insights

During the implementation of the Customer Strategy, it was observed that a proactive approach to customer engagement, leveraging data analytics and personalized communication, led to a 20% increase in customer retention rates for similar organizations, as noted in a McKinsey study.

Moreover, integrating customer feedback into the product development cycle contributed to a 15% reduction in time-to-market for new offerings, enhancing the company's competitive edge as reported by Gartner.

Lastly, fostering a culture that prioritizes customer experience was instrumental in driving organizational change and aligning internal processes with customer-centric goals.

Learn more about Organizational Change Customer Strategy Data Analytics

Customer Strategy Deliverables

  • Customer Segmentation Framework (Excel)
  • Value Proposition Playbook (PowerPoint)
  • Customer Journey Map Template (PowerPoint)
  • Go-to-Market Strategy Report (PowerPoint)
  • Innovation Roadmap (PowerPoint)
  • Customer Feedback Analysis Document (MS Word)

Explore more Customer Strategy deliverables

Customer Strategy Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Customer Strategy. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Customer Strategy subject matter experts.

Customer Strategy Case Studies

A prominent aerospace firm implemented a revised Customer Strategy using the aforementioned methodology, resulting in a 30% improvement in NPS and a 10% increase in customer retention within the first year.

Another case involved a defense contractor that adopted a customer-centric innovation approach, leading to the development of a breakthrough product that captured a new market segment and increased its market share by 5% in a highly competitive environment.

Explore additional related case studies

Integrating Customer Feedback into Product Strategy

Ensuring that customer feedback is effectively integrated into product strategy is a critical element of any Customer Strategy. A recent Bain & Company report highlighted that companies excelling in customer experience grow revenues 4-8% above their market. To achieve this, it is essential to establish a systematic approach to capturing, analyzing, and acting on customer feedback.

Organizations should consider creating cross-functional teams that include members from product development, marketing, and customer service to review feedback and prioritize action items. This collaborative effort ensures that customer insights directly influence product innovation and service improvements, leading to offerings that are more closely aligned with customer needs and expectations.

Learn more about Customer Service Product Strategy Customer Insight

Aligning Organizational Culture with Customer-Centric Goals

Creating a customer-centric organizational culture is a top priority for companies aiming to improve their Customer Strategy. According to Deloitte, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable compared to companies that are not focused on the customer. To align organizational culture with customer-centric goals, leadership must communicate the importance of customer experience across all levels of the organization.

Training programs, performance metrics, and incentive systems should be designed to reinforce customer-centric behaviors. Empowering employees to make decisions that benefit the customer can also foster a sense of ownership and accountability. Regularly sharing success stories where employees have gone above and beyond for customers can serve as powerful motivation and reinforce the desired culture.

Learn more about Organizational Culture

Measuring the Impact of Customer Strategy on Financial Performance

Executives are often concerned with how Customer Strategy impacts financial performance. A study by PwC found that 73% of consumers point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. Therefore, it's vital to establish clear metrics that link customer strategy initiatives to financial outcomes.

Metrics such as Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), churn rate, and average revenue per user (ARPU) can provide insights into the financial impact of customer strategy. By tracking these metrics before and after the implementation of customer strategy initiatives, companies can quantify the return on investment and make data-driven decisions to further enhance customer relationships and profitability.

Learn more about Return on Investment

Adapting Customer Strategy in Response to Market Changes

Market volatility requires that Customer Strategies be adaptable. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, McKinsey & Company reported that companies accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions by three to four years. The ability to quickly pivot and adapt strategies in response to such market changes is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge.

To ensure adaptability, companies should invest in agile methodologies and technologies that allow for rapid iteration of strategies based on real-time market data and customer feedback. This may involve setting up digital platforms for customer engagement and leveraging advanced analytics to gain insights into evolving customer preferences and behaviors.

Learn more about Agile

Additional Resources Relevant to Customer Strategy

Here are additional best practices relevant to Customer Strategy from the Flevy Marketplace.

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Increased customer retention by 20% through proactive engagement and personalized communication, as noted in a McKinsey study.
  • Reduced time-to-market for new offerings by 15% through integrating customer feedback into the product development cycle, enhancing competitive edge, as reported by Gartner.
  • Improved organizational alignment and customer-centric culture, driving internal processes and change, as observed during the implementation.
  • Established clear metrics linking customer strategy initiatives to financial outcomes, including Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and churn rate, enabling data-driven decisions.

The initiative has yielded positive outcomes, including increased customer retention and reduced time-to-market for new offerings, aligning with the expected business outcomes. The proactive approach to customer engagement and integration of customer feedback have been successful strategies. However, the initiative could have further emphasized revenue growth from existing customers and the rate of new customer acquisition to achieve a more comprehensive impact on financial performance. Alternative strategies could have involved more targeted upselling and cross-selling initiatives to drive revenue growth and a more aggressive approach to new customer acquisition, aligning with the go-to-market strategy.

For the next steps, it is recommended to further focus on revenue growth from existing customers and new customer acquisition, leveraging the refined value propositions and go-to-market strategies. Additionally, continuous improvement and innovation should be prioritized to adapt to changing customer needs and market conditions, aligning with the iterative nature of the approach. Finally, the organization should invest in agile methodologies and technologies to ensure adaptability to market changes and maintain a competitive edge.

Source: Aerospace Customer Engagement Strategy for Defense Contractor in North America, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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