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MNC Consulting Group Newsletter
June 2014
Customers - Our Raison d'tre

 

Do you know your customers? Or, perhaps, a better question is: Who are your customers?

 

Organizations that provide goods and services (usually for money) to those external to their organization know their customer demographic. However, employees that do not deal with people outside their organization sometimes have difficulty defining their "customer."

 

Quite simply - anyone with whom you work inside or outside your company to deliver a product or service is your customer. It can be John in Accounting, Sarah in Human Resources, or Mr. Smith who buys your widgets.

 

The only difference between internal and external customers is that, typically, the internal customer is not paying for goods or services. They are working together with you - sometimes in a small part of a bigger cycle - to deliver a product or service.

 

This does not make internal customers "lesser" customers, but there are differences. It's the primary customer that sustains the organization. The primary customer is the paying customer.

 

If you deal with your internal accounting department every day, they are your customer, but ultimately, what you and your accounting department are doing/producing/delivering is a contribution to a service to your external customer. And every (EVERY) organization has at least one external customer.

 

Without external customers, there is no reason for the organization to exist!

 

You and I are both customers. When we pay for product or service, we expect the organization to give us the value for which we are paying. Organizations that understand the concept of customer value also understand their customers' needs and wants.

 

While it's excellent that we serve our internal customers with the utmost regard, it is even more important to serve our external customers with that same regard. Without our external customers, we would be out of a job.  

Over-Communication
 

Marketing experts tell us that we need to know our customers, so that we can serve them better. Seth Godin, for instance, says that we need to know the following about our customers:

 

  • What do they believe?
  • Who do they trust?
  • What are they afraid of and who do they love?
  • What are they seeking?
  • Who are their friends?
  • What do they talk about?

 

While I do not disagree with Mr. Godin, knowing all of the above may or may not help me sell my product or service to Mr. or Ms. Customer. Knowing who Mr. Customer loves is of no consequence if the value of the product or service I am delivering falls short of my customer's expectations.

 

The best way to find out what customers expect is by talking with them. There is no such thing as "over-communication" when dealing with your customers. Customers want and need to keep informed about what you are doing for them.

 

Most of us have probably had communication experiences that were less than ideal. While the airline industry is getting better at communicating, I remember not too long ago sitting on turbulent flights and freaking out about whether we're heading for a crash. Today, pilots give us the heads-up on turbulence, including severity and duration. The result? No more freaking out.

 

Over-communication is a gift - it's a prize that your customers cherish. A customer that understands how and when their product or service is or will be delivered is insanely important. Communicate with your customer and let them pick and choose what they wish to take from your message.

 

No one ever lost a customer because they over-communicated. 

In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)
Listening is far more important than talking. Listen more. Talk less. Let your customer be your guide. IMHO.
 

"Great services are not canceled by one act or by one single error."

- Benjamin Disraeli

 

About MNC Consulting Group
Our goal is to help you to dramatically increase efficiencies that immediately boost your profit margins.

 

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Extreme Profits is a monthly electronic newsletter discussing how leaders can be more efficient and areas where organizations can save more money. 

 

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mary@mncconsultinggroup.com | MNC Consulting Group |

5536A Hamsterly Road | Victoria, B.C. V8Y 1S5 | 250-658-4873

 

In This Issue
Customers - Our Raison d'etre
Over-Communication
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)
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