Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bringing the last three entries together: Customer philosophy

OK, I’ve blogged a lot in the last few days. Partly that is because my project at work is “stood down” so I have more time on my hands. Secondly, its because as I started to write the entries I realised I was actually explaining my “philosophy of the customer.”

It wasn’t clear to me when I wrote the first entry but somewhere between the second and third I realised I was explaining a belief of mine. A belief that has come about through experience, reflection and study.

At the moment this philosophy has three points, it might expand in time, see what you think.

  1. Tell customers you are there

    It is not enough to exist, people need to know you are there. If they don’t know you are there how can they do business with you?
    (Of course, simply advertising isn’t the answer: you need to know who your customers should be and where they are likely to be looking.)
    See: 2006 Arrives...

  2. Be easy to do business with
    If you put obstacles in the way you will loose customers. Obvious but many companies do it.
    See: Websites are getting worse

  3. Choose your customers
    There are some customers, some work, you don’t want to do. No matter how much money they offer they are bad for your business.
    See: Railtrack

I feel there should be a fourth and fifth point but I’m not sure I understand them well enough yet to include it in a philosophy. At the moment it is something like:

  • You need a stream of new business - repeat business is easier to get than new

    business, don’t rely on repeat business alone; you will end up doing the same work again and again, you customer base will slowly shrink and you won’t be exposed to new product and demands.

  • Known your customer - and don't let others get in the way

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