“The customer is always right.” “Our customers come first.” “We value our customers.” Blah, blah, blah… Sure we have all read retailer mission statements about how they value their customers, but how many truly take these words to heart? For most companies, their mission statement and promise of “the best customer experience” is just words on a page. How many times have you walked into a store with one of these promises, only to be ignored or underwhelmed with the sales staff?
For truly customer focused organizations, these are not mere words, but are guiding principles in everything that they do and every decision they make. From the President to the part-time sales associate, providing the best customer experience is the Holy Grail. It’s what they live for. It’s what keeps them up at night. It’s in their DNA. And guess what? Their customers can tell and with new social media tools like facebook, twitter and foursquare they are telling more of their friends and family than ever before.
Customer focus is a strategy that works. In the c-store industry it happens accidentally all of the time. Ever see a store’s sales shoot up because of a new, more customer friendly manager? Top chains have, and as a result they make attracting, identifying, training and retaining customer focused store team members a high priority. Top c-store operators also have become active in social media. They do customer intercept interviews and have loyalty programs to establish relationships with their valued customers. So what’s it going to be for your company…accidental customer focus or planned customer focus? The sooner you get started treating your customers better than the competition, the sooner you can start reaping the rewards.