Customer – does he really matter?

Everybody knows from the theory that “customer is the king”, “customer comes in the first place” etc. But is this truth in real life?

Time after time we all bump into the situations when we face the reality what makes us feel this company doesn’t care about me as a customer. When did this happen to you the last time? Here’s the recent example from my life. The trip what had been planned for almost 6 months was suddenly at risk. And do you know why? Booking company what was used for buying flight tickets 2 weeks before the trip sent a note that the return flight is cancelled. It’s not the worst thing – such things may happen – the worst thing is how it was handled by the company. After 1,5 week communication (1/2 week left until the trip) the result was the note: “We would not be able to authorize a partial refund on your reservation as the airline has refused us to do so. We can only process a full refund for your reservation.” And suggestion to cancel the whole flight telling that this is more beneficial to get money from the purchased tickets and buy new ones! What does it signal to the customer?

  1. Those people probably have newer traveled if they don’t understand the situation;
  2. Do they know the ticket price difference of buying 6 months in advance and only 5 days in advance? (in this case the difference was almost triple);
  3. This company is not protecting their customers (they simply say that the refund will not be paid as airline has refused to do so);
  4. What is the benefit of using the services of this company?

Keep this last question in mind. This is the real question you need to answer when offering a service or product to your customer. In the rush of trying to expand and offer more and more different services, sometimes it is simply forgotten.

There are many such examples in our daily lives: in a shop what claims to be family oriented it’s not possible to navigate through the shelves and cash register with baby cart; hair color what is longer lasting but actually damages the hair; post office what makes sending a letter a journey of 2 months. Now think about the examples of your and your friend’s lives.

What happens here is the risk of losing your customer. Even if you think that it’s cheaper to get new customers than keeping the old ones by building loyalty and trust, this is also your reputation what is on risk.

The best thing is that in most of the cases it is not too late to spot the issue and fix it. To do so the “go” needs to come from the top management who is fully dedicated to improving the company operations. The next step for looking into this is setting up a team who evaluates the situation, risks, losses and gains, opportunities, customer needs, feedback and next steps, and does so with the external partner who guides them through this process. The external partner is needed to take a look “from outside” and have objective view on the current situation as well as to give a professional guidance in the development project. The project requires a strong collaboration among different company departments having the same one goal in mind – how to serve my customer in a better way.

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