If you're in business, you've undoubtedly heard this line more than once over the years...
"If it wasn't for the customers, I'd love this job."
And then just last week, a friend of mine asked me this...
"I know you guys say you help make the manufacturer a hero to the dealer network, but don't you find that the manufacturers just really don't like the dealers... and usually, vice versa?"
I have to admit, they DO often complain about each other. The manufacturer says the dealer's being unreasonable. The dealer says the manufacturer doesn't listen to them, or worse, ignores them. Frankly, it sometimes reminds me of an old married couple. An old married couple who need each other... but complain all along the way.
It's unreasonable to think that a company can make all the people happy all of the time. (My daughter may disagree with me on this when it comes to America's most trusted brand USAA. She certainly believes THEY do no wrong.) But consider this concept inspired by the business classic Raving Fans...with a twist I've taken the liberty to add.
First, the company establishes their vision of how their products or services will be delivered. Then they consider what the customer's vision is of the way they want to do business with the company. As they do this, there will be an overlap, or "sweet spot", where those visions intersect. If the company will simply focus on that "sweet spot" and consistently over-deliver there (or as Raving Fans puts it, "Deliver Plus One") they may be well on their way to a company/customer love fest.
At the Davos World Economic Forum last year, Wal-Mart CEO, Doug McMillon said,
"Being truly customer-centric is what the market will reward."
The truth is not everyone aims to be the best at being customer-centric - at least from a customer service standpoint. And that creates a tremendous positioning opportunity for at least one brand in every industry and market that's willing to step up to the challenge. Has your company been looking for a way to better position yourself in the market? Consider owning "great customer service" in the mind of your customers and prospects.