The purpose of this article is to get you to ask this question: “Are you satisfying your customer?” This seems like a pretty straightforward question. However, it is not always that easy to get a straight-forward answer. Most business owners will tell you that they are “definitely satisfying their customer needs.” How do they know for sure? Are they telling the truth? Or, are they in denial?
The follow-up question will always throw them if you dare to ask it: “Where’s your metrics to prove it.” BAM…WHAM…KAPOW! A this point in the conversation you’re either going to be shown the door, or experience an awkward silence followed by rapid change of subject. It seems perfectly normal to ask an executive management team to share their customer satisfaction feedback or their on-time delivery metrics to demonstrate their ability to fulfill their customer needs. In fact, you would think they would be extremely excited to let you see them! If they are truly satisfying their customer needs, they are consistently delivering their products or services to them on time, every time, right?
You see the problem with asking the question is that the answer you receive is not always grounded in reality; it’s often based on perception. So, does this means they are telling lies or being dishonest? No, of course not, they are simply seeing things from a different perspective, and that is all fine and dandy. What is based on reality? How do we get to see the real picture? Well, that would be simply a matter of listening to what your customers are saying about your products and services. A business owner or management team can fool themselves, and many do but they cannot fool their customers, well not for long anyway! You see, in the 21st century, a customer has many choices and they can and will change their supplier at any time if they are unhappy with them.
So, back to the original question: can your business satisfy customer needs, or not? I have created a simple flow chart that will guide you through an easy process to discover what and how you are dealing with the current situation in your company when it comes to customer needs. Take a look at the graphic to see the customer needs algorithm. Click here to see a larger size.
Answer the first question and then follow the path to see where it leads you. Now, you get the chance to become a character in your own version of Alice in Wonderland as you follow the white rabbit. However, try to keep a tight grip on reality as you enter and go deeper into the rabbit hole.
If you answer the first question honestly, it will clearly identify whether your company’s has the ability to satisfy customer needs or not, and it will tell you what action to take. On the other hand, if you’re in denial, or unaware of the reality of your current situation, it will lead you to where you believe your company is today, and it will tell you what action to take. Enjoy your journey down the rabbit hole!
Make sure you read my next post to get the next installment about the way companies deal with this issue and try to answer the questions: Are you satisfying your customers? If you enjoyed this article please share it with your friends and colleagues by email, or the social media buttons below.
If you enjoyed reading this article: Are You Satisfying Your Customers?
You will enjoy reading this article too: Does Lean Management Increase Profits?