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The Core of the Matter – Is the Customer still the king?

By Gabriel Benjamin

Continued from last edition

The customer is most of the time the first victim when a business appears to be struggling. Where then does the marketing philosophy of customer being king apply?

Dear friends, I believe what we see expressed at the level of organizations is a reflection of the thinking and the judgments of individuals team members.

Our collective reasoning, analyses and conclusions are what you find our organizations implementing.

So much like the business, as individuals we have in and around our lives some individuals that are very close and useful, these are people who in time past believed in us, supported us, encouraged us and stood by us when it was as though we were struggling with our careers, capacities and general approval by the business. They supplied our emotional, psychological and competence needs at the work place.

These people believed in us and saw what many others in the organizations didn’t see, we enjoyed their protection, training and motivation and with time we were able to overcome our limitations, struggles and suddenly became super stars.

Suddenly everyone began to see our potentials, gifts, capacities and abilities and we became a major part of the business and we became more relevant and even became involved in decision making.

We became the favorite of the company leadership and the leadership had our ears, what you say to the leaders, they believe and your counsel is quite valuable to them. Gradually you become more powerful, influential and strong within the business and you begin to rise.

Being comfortable with this new status of power, relevance and general acceptance, we become very protective of it and would do anything to remain trusted, relevant and powerful within the system.

Unfortunately, if in the process of time that high and powerful position you occupy is suddenly threatened by situations and circumstances within the system or your personal ambition and profiting begins to drive you, the very persons or people that gave you the opportunity for ascension are the very first ones you deal with and hurt to secure your position or that promotion.

Those you once respected, revered and treated as king then become the very first you scheme, plot and strategize to sideline or even send packing in order to achieve your own ambition.

What you fail to see or acknowledge is the fact that these same people who supported and helped you up can as well bring you down effortlessly by withdrawing their support, patronage and backing.

No individual can stand alone and survive alone. And be sure those that groomed you and saw you rise know you better than your newly found allies and close supporters, hence, they know your weaknesses and know just where and how to get you.

Dear friend, loneliness at the top comes when you discard and do away with those who were there with you and supported you when you were still ascending. Just like the very first customers of a business are very important to any business.

Lack of confidence and insecurity is the only motivation for sidelining friends and contemporaries when eventually you feel you’re at your top or achieved something worthwhile.

The fact that they know you in and out makes you uncomfortable hence you’ll rather draw close to those who don’t really know you and can’t demystify you, don’t you realize true help comes from people who can truly tell you the truth because the truly know you?

Many businesses die today because they keep treating their loyal customers wrong when they experience a revenue or profitability threat by compromising quality or increasing prices. Eventually these customers who were there to support and grow the business from the start become disgruntled and disappointed and consequently withdraw their patronage and support for the business.

What many businesses still fail to embrace is the fact that business survival and growth is about creating, retaining and growing customers not making profit. You can never be profitable without customers; chasing profit at the expense of your customer defiles logic and will kill your business faster than anything else.

Chasing your career goals and ambition at the expense of those who raised and trained you, will frustrate you and make you very lonely and overwhelmed at the end of the day and consequently you wouldn’t last that long in that top position or office.

Dear friends, respect the customer, respect the king, respect those who make you, don’t use or abuse your support, protect and preserve them, they will protect and preserve you in return.