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TitleFrom Customer Retention to a Holistic Stakeholder Management System: Living a Vision
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Document Text Contents
Page 1

From Customer Retention to a Holistic
Stakeholder Management System

Page 2

Margit Huber · Susanne O’Gorman

From Customer Retention
to a Holistic Stakeholder
Management System

Living a Vision

123

Page 104

95

Looking at the current state of customer relationships it becomes obvious
that worldwide over 40% can be characterized as Apostle-Relationships.
Nevertheless, every fifth customer has a Terrorist-like relationship to his
supplier – an observation which shows that there is still room for
improvement when it comes to customer orientation and excellence of
business processes. The share of Hostages worldwide is relatively small.
Only 10% of customers are “bound” to their companies and feel forced to
stay with them despite a lack of satisfaction. This is also a sign of highly
mature markets where companies are offering similar products and only
very few switching barriers exist. The share of Mercenaries, on the other
hand, is fairly high. Every fourth customer is not loyal to his supplier
despite being highly satisfied with products and services. In highly
competitive markets with interchangeable products, companies very often
strongly focus on prices, thereby creating a large customer base which is
willing to “shop around”.

Differences in regions can also be seen. In line with the higher TRI*M
Index, North America also shows a larger share of Apostles. But: Fierce
Price-wars also seem to be characteristic for North America – despite the
higher level of customer retention, the share of Mercenaries is equally
large here. The number of Hostages is considerably smaller than in all
other regions, anecdotally we know that consumers have a very strong
standing in this region, a fact that might have caused switching barriers
cease to exist. The opposite is true for Asia, here the share of Hostages is
above world-average, possibly indicating that in developing markets
customers are still not able to choose suppliers as freely as they want to,
since many times they are bound by technological or contractual barriers.


The Global TRI*M Centre

Hostages

Apostles

Terrorists

Mercenaries

43% 44%

10% 10%

27% 25%

20% 21%

2001-2004 2003-2006



Fig. 5. Development of the TRI*M Typology (Worldwide)

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96

Looking at the development of the TRI*M Typology over time can thus
give an indication on how markets have developed – whether they are
more driven by word-of-mouth or more influenced by structural issues
such as Mercenary or Hostage relationships. A comparison of norms from
the years 2001 to 2004 with the most recent results (2003 – 2006) shows
the share of Hostages to be stable over time and the share of Mercenaries
slightly on the decline. Apostles have increased over time – but so has the
share of Terrorists! It seems as if there is stronger polarization, maybe as
companies are increasingly segmenting their customer bases and offering
different types of service to different types of customers – according to
their priorities.

When comparing the TRI*M Typology in different industries, it is
advisable to distinguish between single and multi supplier markets. Single
supplier markets are characterised by the fact that customers usually only
have one supplier for a certain product (e.g. mobile telephones), whereas
in multi-supplier markets customers often split their spending between
different suppliers (e.g. travel & leisure). In single supplier markets the
issue therefore is to prevent customers from churning, whereas in multi-
supplier markets, companies fight hard to achieve a larger share-of-wallet.

Two out of the three single-supplier industries have developed very
positively over the last couple of years. The Automotive Industry

The Global TRI*M Centre

Hostages

Apostles

Terrorists

Mercenaries

41% 47%
50% 43% 44% 47%

29% 29% 32%

8%
7% 7% 9% 11%

10%

16% 13% 14%

31% 28% 26% 30% 27% 26% 25% 27%
22%

20% 18%
17%

18% 18%
17%

30% 31%
32%

2004 2005 2006 2004 2005 2006 2004 2005 2006

Automotive Mobile Service
Providers

TRI*M Index 70 71 7370 72 74 70 71 73

Fixed Lines

*2004= 2001-2004; 2005=2002-2005; 2006=2003-2006



Fig. 6. TRI*M Typology in Typical Single Supplier Markets (Europe)

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202



Dr. Sandra Reich is Market Research Manager at
MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG and responsible for
market research. Her focus is on international cus-
tomer retention studies and the analysis of what
drives purchase for commercial auto. After study-
ing Business Administration with a focus on
Marketing / Market Research at the university of
Augsburg, she wrote her dissertation about the
impact of advertising.

Chapter 9



Ulrich Sieber, Head of Human Resources Com-
merzbank, is responsible for Human Resources
within Commerzbank Group. He started his bank-
ing career 25 years ago at Bayerische Vereinsbank,
was trained in Corporate Banking and Human Re-
sources and had several international stages. He
studied Business Administration with a focus on
Finance and Banking at Bankakademie in Munich
and Frankfurt.

Chapter 10



Eric Sondervan is a Director of Business
Solutions at TNS NIPO, Netherlands. Business So-
lutions are sophisticated research solutions for
frequently occurring marketing problems to sup-
port companies to further strengthen their market
position. Eric is an expert in Stakeholder Manage-
ment and has developed many products in this
areas of expertise in his research career of more
than 20 years. He has a university degree in
marketing & research from the University of Delft.
Chapter 4

Page 209

203





Dr. Wolfgang Werner, Evonik AG, is responsible
for projects in the area of Change Management at
the headquarters of RAG in Essen. He leads em-
ployee surveys of Degussa. After studying Chemis-
try in Saarbrücken and Zurich, he gained a broad
know-how in quality management, organisational
development and internal management consulting
in several chemical companies. He is also volun-
tarily working in the steering committee of DGQ,
VCI and TÜV-Cert.
Chapter 11



Tim Zütphen studied Social Sciences and History
in Bielefeld, Germany. He has been working for
TNS since 1998 and is a Senior Consultant in the
area of Stakeholder Management. He is also re-
sponsible for the Product Management of the
Conversion Model.

Chapter 12

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