Fact: every single company cares about their customers...the difference is how they care about them.
I live on a block in New York City that has a Food Emporium on it. It is a sad excuse for a supermarket. The produce is very poor quality, the layout of the store is disastrous and the staff would much rather be somewhere else…at least that’s how they make the customers feel.
But recently, a Fairway Market moved in less than a block away from the Food Emporium. Fairway is, in a word, amazing. The aisles are well stocked and brightly lit. The produce is incredible, fresh and ripe. The staff is friendly and helpful…in fact, there is staff there whose only job is to help customers find what we’re looking for. The quality is astounding and the prices are cheaper than most of the other supermarkets in the area. People travel from miles away to shop at the Fairway. I’ve even found myself going food shopping more often because it’s such a great place.
Once Fairway moved in, something strange started to happen. All of a sudden, Food Emporium started advertising around the neighborhood. They started talking about change…change for us, they said. In addition to the advertising, they now have people passing out coupons offering discounts on various products.
It’s clear the only time Food Emporium started thinking about their customers was when another company who really cares about their customers moved in.
It is true that every company cares about their customers. However, some companies, like Food Emporium, care about them because they see them as dollar signs. And some companies, like Fairway, care about them because they see them as people.
When a company sees their customers as dollar signs, they treat them as a metric. Something to balance efficiencies, increase margins and decrease expenses. When a company sees their customers as people, they treat them like human beings. Something to look after, worry about and give an amazing experience to.
If companies only care about their customers when they have to, it's probably too late. Even if Food Emporium changes everything…I still know they never really cared about me. But that’s ok…I never really cared about them.