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Why play ‘Follow the Customer’?

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in Leaders & Managers,Office Management

It’s so easy to lose sight of customers that even good organizations do it all the time. But a technique called LEO might help you stay a little closer to them.

LEO stands for:
  • Listen to your customers. Every firm says it listens, but few do. Too often, they end up with Deejay Syndrome. That’s when a radio disc jockey plays music he likes in the full expectation that everybody else will like it, too. Eventually, deejays learn that their job isn’t to make people like certain music; it’s to find out what listeners want and then play it. That’s what spurred call-in request lines.

  • Enrich the products or services you offer. When people buy a product or service, it must perform as expected. If it doesn’t, they’ll grow disappointed and leave. They probably won’t tell you they’re leaving, either. Note: American businesses are good at selling, but not at maintaining and enhancing quality. Do it and you’re golden.

  • Optimize the customer’s experience. Give customers an extra something that attracts their attention, pleases them and makes you the vendor of choice. In car manufacturing, that may mean producing a quantum leap in gas mileage. In toothpaste, it may mean coming up with outrageously good new flavors.

    If you don’t optimize, the customer may not complain or even be disappointed. But when a better thing comes along—like free coffee at a convenience store—baby, that customer is gone.
Tip: It’s so rare for customers to ask for anything that when they do, knock yourself out to make it happen.

— Adapted from The Ice Cream Maker, Subir Chowdhury, Currency Doubleday.

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