By John S. McClenahen Getting closer to customers appears to be a best practice that companies are staying with. A majority -- some 56% -- of fast-growth companies recently surveyed by global professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers plan to greatly enhance existing initiatives or launch new ones during the next 12 months. Their plans include adding sales channels and other customer expansion efforts (46%), emphasizing customer retention (31%) and analyzing the customer base with the aim of boosting profits (25%). Such efforts do pay off, PwC data show. Companies planning new customer-focused program have achieved 46% faster growth than their peers during the past five years and are projecting 35% higher growth during the next year.