Tuesday, 14 July 2009 06:57

The Customer is Always Right

Too often it seems that businesses view marketing as the advertising and promotions that they run. This is a narrow view of the function, and can result in devastating consequences to the amount of business that is conducted.

It seems that many businesses forget that the oldest and most central marketing theme always has been and always will be customer service. The saying "The customer is always right" should not be interpreted to mean that each individual customer gets what ever they want if they complain enough, but rather that you should listen to your customers.

I recently visited a business who's policies greatly restricted the customer's experience. There seemed to be no real rhyme or reason for the policies, though front line employees sited security and safety reasons.

The point is that the policies and procedures composed and implemented by finance managers or the legal department can have a great impact on how customers interact with and perceive your company. Cost/benefit analysis (whether formal or informal) should include intangibles that can effect the level of business you conduct.

One of those factors is perception. The founding idea of branding. How do people see, think, and feel about this business? So before sending out that memo, ask yourself "Is this policy in line with our brand? Does it help to reinforce our mission and core values?" If the answer to these questions is an unequivocal yes, then send away. Send it multiple times. Create a new division in the company to ensure that the policy is followed.

Just remember, that if your customers don't like it, then get rid of it... they're right.