thinking like a customer

thinking like a customer


By on February 2, 2011

Digital remastering has become not only popular, but almost mandatory for audio and video recordings in recent years. The Beatles alone sold over 2.25 million remastered albums in five days (of previously released songs) simply because the sound quality was better.Remastering_lrg

Now, think about the ‘remastering’ metaphor for your customer strategy. What if your organization’s approach to customers, which used to be adequate, was no longer relevant? What if you brought the quality of your customer closeness up to today’s expectations?

Why do recordings need to be remastered? —because a better system has been created that eclipses what used to be considered good or acceptable. Why do product-centric companies need to be remastered, even though they have “kept up” on their products? —because other organizations in the same market are becoming more customer-centered. Consider the demise of Circuit City vs. the success of the customer makeover at Best Buy, when both organizations were essentially selling the same products. The model for a supplier has changed and customers are responding positively to the more flexible, more consultative organizations that are appearing.

I love the idea of remastering your approach to customer relations. The original systems that you developed were acceptable 10-20-30 years ago because business models were built to be product-centered. Customers had no other choices. Quality was judged only by product standards. Organizations could remain reactive as long as they had “mastered” the art of selling their products. But today, quality includes the performance and pro-activity of your customer relationships. There are new systems that are pushing traditional models toward obsolete. Organizations have begun to replace their mechanistic, product-centric cultures with more organic, customer-centric versions.

Please share your thoughts about industries that you feel need to be remastered, from the standpoint of enhanced customer thinking.


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