Abusing The C-word – And How It Supports a Selfish Business Outlook
Some companies abuse the dreaded C-word a lot in meetings. The business C-word…Customers. In a generic way that keeps them faceless at times. How much they’re buying, what they haven’t bought and so on. But when lumped together, do they really talk about customers in a meaningful way?
Often times, they know nothing about what their customers want. Instead they know what THEY want. They want to make what they make, let their customer know that it’s available and watch it fly off the shelves while they count the stacks. That’s a selfish outlook that some companies do to avoid real investment in their customers lives. Keep them faceless so they can keep them at a distance.
The Faceless Customer - No Emotional Attachment
They’re a number on a call center board. They’re a sales figure on an excel column in a spreadsheet. But the last thing they are is a person, someone trying to solve a problem that you can help them with.
It’s easier to not be involved if they’re faceless. If they’re just names on a list, it is a lot easier to deal with than if you’re serving their every need. If you truly care about someone, it drives you nuts to see them suffer. When you know their story, you care.
Customer First - The Long Game
Customer first cultures are those that avoid lumping customers into a generic pile. Instead, they find a way to relate to them, to keep customers at the true forefront of every decision. Not “what’s good for us” but “what’s best for them”. Amazon famously invests in every decision being customer first. For bettering the customer experience — even at the expense of, well, expenses. Because in the long run, they know that trust and loyalty will win out. Those customers will have a true beneficial relationship with the organization and remain for years.
A Cultural of Real Customers
If you’re customer relationship has purpose and is truly helping someone solve a problem, they won’t leave you. They’ll stick with you. They’ll trust you. They’ll love you through good times and bad, as long as you’re there for them.
There is a need to make the customer real. Know their purpose and what we do to help them. Don’t just sell them something, everyone does that. Help them do something.
Learn and tell the stories of your best customers — your fans. Make their stories live within your DNA, within our walls and most importantly, in your meetings. They will be real, they will be at the center and they will not be easy to ignore.