Posted by: kerrywills | October 21, 2011

Guiding Principle: Customer focus


Most big companies today have the “customer” somewhere in their mission, slogan, objectives, theme song, etc. This is a top priority for companies as expressed by their leadership. I find it ironic how much importance is placed on customer experience externally within companies but how little is done internally between divisions which have a service-customer relationship. That is, many divisions do not treat the internal “customers” of their services as customers. Here are some examples…

  • Not responding to messages – This puts the onus on the customer to follow up to get something
  • “I don’t do that” – I hear this all the time from people in a division that I need service from. So instead of acting as a liaison for their division they are making the customer figure out their internal organizations structure
  • Not meeting commitments –  After committing to a date or activity the work does not get done and I only find out after I have asked once the date has passed
  • Poor quality – Having the customer find the defects or issues

Who is the customer?

If a company consistently did any of the previous examples to their external customers, they would be out of business. Yet many organizations run this way and seem to be ok with that. I think the differences is that in the external marketplace customers have choices about who they can give their business to. We are usually stuck with the internal organizations that we work with.

People should look to understand who their customers are, which includes other organizations as well as the end customer of your business. Then they should recognize that they wouldn’t have a job without their customers and should view their relationships as important ones. Objectives and bonuses should be tied to customer satisfaction and quality to enforce these key messages.

So, as the customers of my blog, are you satisfied?

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