It’s Not About The Drones, It’s The Customer-Centric Culture That’s Key

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Oh sure, the idea of those Amazon drones delivering packages on the day you order is way cool… it’s no wonder people are still talking about it. And yet there’s another intriguing (and more practical) gem that was mentioned in that 60 Minutes piece with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that has gone unnoticed. The term Bezos used was customer centric — doing everything possible to please the customer. I like the sound of that.
While those much talked about drones are still years away, the philosophy behind them is one you can put in place right now. Making the needs of the customer central to all you do. Customers, after all, don’t care about you, they care about themselves and their own problems. Which is why the successful business is always that customer question, “What’s in it for me?”
When it comes to being customer-centric an organization needs to take the time to learn what customers expect, and try to beat that expectation. This doesn’t have to be complex or life changing — just put yourself into the customer’s shoes and think of what would make the experience with your company better, easier, more pleasant. Little things matter. Thinking outside the box (as Amazon is doing with those drones) in terms of serving the needs/meeting the expectations of customers (not shareholders) needs to be the driving force behind everything you do.
How many businesses can you think of that operate as if the customer is central to all they do? I can’t come up with many examples. More importantly, do you operate (advertise) your business that way?
If not (or not enough), here are some good ways to foster a customer-centric culture at your company. Not only will this help you succeed, it will guide your efforts and assist you in making decisions. Over time, running a business with the customer at the center builds loyalty that turns to habit so long as the experiences stay positive.
Break a promise, say one thing, deliver something else and you’ll shake that hard won foundation.
Here’s a real-world example of how this works. A luxury car salesman serves his customers by making the rounds to change the clocks in their cars at the start and end of Daylight Savings Time. No one told him to do this… he simply noticed customers struggling with the task and stepped in. Sure it takes time from his day, but it also handles a small, annoying job that his customers don’t have time to learn how to do, and he can do with ease. The thoughtful investment of his time pays off when it comes to buying again.
Like the salesman, you need to make your business invaluable to your own customers.

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