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Eric DePaul

I think the point stating that companies “didn’t really mean it” when talking about customer-centric marketing is very interesting. How many times have we heard that the “customer is always right”. In my experience being a customer and having customers, companies didn’t mean this phrase nor have any intention of satisfying it. It is a phrase that people say in a joking manner. Why? It’s because companies never treated customers that way. This is why companies that have evolved to truly focusing on the customer are leaving their competition in the dust. Customers have been looking for fulfillment of this empty promise for a long time and when they come across a company that fulfills this promise they form a bond with it. As companies evolve to becoming more customer-centric focus, it will become a necessity to stay in business.

Andrew Hally

Let's face it. Most people at one time or another have reached a point, when weighed down by tons of work, staring deadlines in the face and struggling for workplace survival, that the customer can seem like a pain in the @$$ because they are complicating getting "the job" done. Especially when a company relies upon tens or hundreds of thousands of people spread across the world. In a way, it's a miracle ANY company succeeds in providing a real customer-oriented feel. It's hard to do, and it takes a long time to create the kind of culture that encourages customer focus.

It seems hiring practices are critical. Check out this quote about Southwest Airline from James L. Heskett of HBS:

''It is the people; it has always had to do with their selection,'' Heskett says. ''They are selected primarily for attitude, and most people primarily select for skills. They have a particular view for people who will fit into a team-oriented organization and the airline industry is team-oriented. If you have people pointing fingers, you have problems.''


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