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

BUSINESS DAY

By Gabriel Benjamin

Many businesses today are under tremendous pressure and anxiety about where their growth will come from this year. Teams are meeting, putting together plans and strategies for success. Competitors are also planning on how they can take on a larger share of the market; deliver more in volume, revenue and profit.

The dynamism and inconsistencies in the market and business environment keep making it difficult for business leaders to chest-beat about good profit at the end of the financial year. The quality, commitment and passion of employees also put a question mark on the likelihood of fully implementing strategy and delivering the expected results.

 Truth is, many people today are just going to work, doing their best and hoping for the best. Very few are actually confident about success at the end of the period.

With the continuous growth in knowledge and capacities for business management and professional business practice, it is quite popular today to declare the customer as king. Marketers are quick to refer to the customer as king and as far as business success is concerned, efficient customer service is a very critical key to delivering the numbers.

Company-wide marketing orientation is also a popular advocacy with serious minded businesses nowadays. And this philosophy supports the prioritizing of the customer as the most important element in business practice; in fact without the customer, the business dies.

But overtime it’s amazing how this business fact has lost its realism as it were – becoming a philosophy mouthed, advocated but denied in practice hence, no real impact and consequently no expected results.

As a customer I have severally been exposed to sales people and customer service personnel who make attempts at satisfying me and at the end of the day just end up irritating me.

It’s amazing how so many businesses today underrate and take for granted the intelligence of their customers.

Customer service ought to have the true ability to service the customer and satisfy the customer. Customer service is not just a set of activities wired into the process of making a sale, giving it a robust appearance but lacking in essence and the real ability to make customers happy.

Customer service is not supposed to be packaged in a way to insult the intelligence of the customer or compensate for product failure. Customer satisfaction should actually have the ability to satisfy the need and expectations of the customer.

Many marketers and sales team very much know their customer service and satisfaction packages won’t work because it’s actually cost led not purpose driven, it’s also put in place as palliatives when the product or service fails to satisfy the customer, so they just do it for the sake of doing it; they know it will not make customers happy or satisfied. If the customer is truly the king, customer service shouldn’t be compensating for product failure; it should actually be put in place to make sure the product or service satisfies the customer – the king.

In my submission, many businesses today are busy mocking, disrespecting and upsetting their customers; the king, because they are desperately pursuing profit, hence their customer service approach is purposed to compensate for their diminishing quality of product or insensitive price increases. This style can never sustain customer growth and loyalty, subsequently, with time customers would move.

In my opinion, I think a business organization consist of a group of persons brought together for the common purpose of creating and keeping customers.

I believe the primary responsibility of any organization is to create, grow and retain as many customers as possible, unfortunately, many organizations, out of desperation for profit sacrifice the source of revenue and profit; the customer.

Respecting a king goes far beyond bowing to the king and saying nice things and praising the king. Real respect for a king is in listening to the king and meeting his needs.

Every now and again I see many businesses miss out on this profound fact and gradually tow the path of subsequent decline and liquidation.

Immediately businesses sense a threat of an impending shortfall in expected revenue or profit, the first to feel the heat is the customer, how? Companies begin to compromise on quality and at times quantity and size of their products. If it’s a tangible product, the size may reduce or the quality of ingredients compromised. If companies don’t touch the product, they alternatively jack up the price.

To be continued…