Giving importance where it is due

For most businesses, the first mindset is ‘how do I make money out of this?’. It is never – ‘What can I provide to the customer?’ ‘What is the value add that the customer gets?’ I am not saying that we should not look at the viability of our business models but in the process of doing this, we often lose focus of the important – the customer.

When we design the UI or create a website or train the customer support team, do we really do it keeping the customer in mind? ‘How is the user going to interact with my website?’ ‘How should my support team interact with my customers?’ If you believe in processes, are those actually helping your customers or are they just helping you track what your employees are doing?

Seth Godin has a post about how retail stores arrange first by brand, then type, then style and then size. It would be so much easier if they would arrange by type first and then by brand or even type and size first and then by brand. It is quite an obvious way of doing it but I have never seen any retail store do it, except for bookstores. It would be a disaster if they had put all the McGrawHill books together and then separated them by topic.

It is so sad to see stores display the sign “Customers are our greatest asset” but don’t have a system in place to take care of that asset.

4 Responses to “Giving importance where it is due”

  1. 1 iamyourcustomer July 3, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Great post!

    You hit a key point here – Putting the pain on yourself, and not the customer.
    It’s so important to test from the customers view point. ‘How have these changes affected the customers experience?’

    In the world of web self service adding an additional step to obtain a desired metric could mean the difference between the customer finding their answer, or giving up and leaving frustrated.

  2. 2 Ashish July 4, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks iamyourcustomer, for stopping by and your insights.

  3. 3 tom4change July 7, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I really like your idea and how true it is. The really sad part about it is that those companies don’t realize that if they designed their process from the customers first viewpoint they would make alot of money alot faster. The reason is simple and Seth points it out in his example if you empower the customer by making their decisions easier they are much more like to find other things in your store they could use because finding the first thing was so easy. I love looking at the companies that put the customer first period (ex apple or disney)and I marvel at how seamless they make it. The best thing you can do is when you find them tell them how great they are(like I purchase all cars at Saturn because of their excellence-No I don’t have a Saturn). If you get a chance I think you would enjoy my blog @ I focus on all the ways companies can put the customer first. keep up the goood posts. Tom

  4. 4 ashishkuriakose July 9, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks Tom for stopping by. Will definitely read your blog. Liked what I saw there already.


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