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Friday, October 11, 2013

Thank Goodness for Customers

We truly appreciate our customers for buying our goods and services – without them we would merely have a hobby instead of a business.

However, customers provide us with several valuable resources and contributions which may not be as obvious...less top-of-the-head mindfulness on our part.

  • Customers keep us sharp and competitive – they have an expectations of us for providing value, quality, and service
  • Customers tell others about our goods and services – bragging on our behalf when we exceed their expectations; warning others when we don't
  • Customers give us feedback and suggestions – good, bad, or indifferent, they periodically have something to say and share it with us
  • Customers like value, but expect fairness – when something goes wrong they expect a fair, hassle-free solution
  • Customers demonstrate affiliation and loyalty by alerting us of problems or situations – often they are the first to report a problem with our on-line presence or alert us early about things like an emerging trend in slow delivery
  • Customers realize we're not always perfect but expect us to strive toward practical perfection – how quickly do we identify and correct problems; are we innovating by adopting proven new technology
  • Customers want to be treated with respect and consideration – they expect to us to follow up on commitments – like a promised return call or sending additional information
  • Customers like simple and easy transactions – simple items like recognizing a returning customer so we can complete routine and contact information from stored data
  • Customers return to buy again where they have a relationship and receive value, quality, and service – we can control all these variables.

Organizations that recognize the value of the customer beyond just today’s sale have a precious resource to aid in their success – like the 12th player on the field for some football teams – the fanswhich have a huge influence on the outcome of the game by being engaged and enthusiastic.

Organizations with no direct customers, or who do not recognize the contributions by the customers, will have a harder time achieving success. Know of any?

Philosopher George Santayana said: those who do not learn from history are obliged to repeat it mistakes – a business corollary of today is: organizations who do not recognize the value of listening to their customers are bound to make the same mistakes repeatedly, but not to the same customers (they have moved on).

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