I presented a seminar on Customer Love to Executive MBA students at UCSD’s Rady school last Friday. They were a lively engaged group of mid-career professionals seeking something different in their professional lives and choosing to devote their Friday evening to this session.
I started by asking: “Does your company love its customers?” Twelve participants – about a third – raised their hands to say yes. That means the large majority felt their company does not love its customers (abstaining was not allowed!). When I asked why – why they don’t love their customers, most sort of shrugged. But a couple people gave explanations:
“We’re a B2B company, so it’s all about costs, not really relationships.”
“Customers are assigned to us, they don’t choose us.”
In my view, while both of these reasons can explain the lack of love, they do not excuse it. Being in the B2B space does not preclude customer love, nor does having customers assigned. Both situations just present specific challenges to overcome.
I believe customer love is every company’s highest calling. If they wish to work to fulfill that calling, customer love should then be the primary focus of the company, which in turn requires that the culture, core business functions, and brand strategy are all in alignment in order to execute on that focus.
1) Does your company love its customers? (Hint: If your answer is not an instant yes, then it’s a no).
I look forward to your answers, and your thoughts on customer love.