The absolute majority of companies relentlessly sing their favorite mantra: "om mani focus on customer". But singing mantras alone (meaning PR) won’t change the situation — business often allows itself screwing customers in most perverse ways, trying to earn more of that money and forgetting about implementation of the "focus on customer" strategy.
You don’t have to go far afield for an example: just try to put in one phrase "a typical representative of any sector" and "customer focus":
We’re talking, of course, about more or less large businesses. In small companies similar problems are rare due to their flexibility and less formalized processes. A large business may not feel the expenses it incurs as a result of such gap, whereas in a small company the situation is always clearly visible.
So, the task of a large business — using advantages of its size to the max and mitigating disadvantages → is to become more flexible.
A company’s need to be flexible may be generated from inside, by its employees (if you have such staff — sincere congratulations, take care of them), and from outside — by its customers, who are the most valuable consultants ever: not only do they ask for no fees, they even bring money themselves. That’s why it’s at least unreasonable to ignore such a huge resource. But what’s the effective way to use it?
C&C — that’s how Ulmart? (www.ulmart.ru) call their electronic Complaints & Compliments book.
In every store, at every kiosk, online — Ulmart customers may write down their vision of "how it should be", and a message with their thoughts will be automatically delivered to the responsible person among target employees of the company. The request will be assigned a certain response time. The customer, who wrote it, will get a delivery receipt, and later will be notified of the result of its review. In case the response is late, a corresponding negative good luck letter is received by the responsible employees" manager. Resulting incentive (de-)bonuses for both follow automatically.
Flubing the dub with some nonsense won’t work either — customers have an easy opportunity to click on "I’m not satisfied with the response" link, and their request will go higher in the organizational structure, up to the CEO level. What happens then… Well, you understand. The staff does as well.
The company always stays in shape.
An opportunity for customers to take part in managing the company increases their involvement. Customers" ideas and complaints that have a response time, accountability and incentives, compel the company to perform an ongoing optimization of business processes.
Using the dia$par provides for constant improvement of business processes, as opposed to their preservation.