Customer Service

True obsessive customer focus – A matter of trust

Never take brand-customer connection for granted

Customers cut up frequent flyer and credit cards in protest

United Airlines has leapt into a brand disaster of mythic proportions after dragging a customer off a plane. The company not only blew it with the customer they so unceremoniously had dragged off a plane, they potentially upended their relationship with loyal and potential future customers alike.

Many social media users posted photos cutting up their frequent flyer cards and United sponsored credit cards, and promised to cancel accounts with the airline:

Obsessive customer focus – True customer obsession is key

When looking at successful companies, they have a core understanding that the customer is at the center of every decision and action they make, regardless of where the interaction takes place.

In annual letter to shareholders CEO Jeff Bezos explains why he believes centering a business on “obsessive customer focus” is the only thing that stands between a company and inevitable brand demise:

There are many ways to center a business. You can be competitor focused, you can be product focused, you can be technology focused, you can be business model focused, and there are more. But in my view, obsessive customer focus is by far the most protective of Day 1 vitality.

Why? There are many advantages to a customer-centric approach, but here’s the big one: customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied, even when they report being happy and business is great. Even when they don’t yet know it, customers want something better, and your desire to delight customers will drive you to invent on their behalf. No customer ever asked Amazon to create the Prime membership program, but it sure turns out they wanted it, and I could give you many such examples.

Staying in Day 1 requires you to experiment patiently, accept failures, plant seeds, protect saplings, and double down when you see customer delight. A customer-obsessed culture best creates the conditions where all of that can happen.

True customer obsession is a key principle that keeps companies relevant, competitive, and growing. Without it, companies stagnate, become irrelevant, decline, and die.

True customer obsession involves turning our customers into fans who believe in, advocate for, and keep coming back to our business. It has to involve everyone within the organization and has to be embedded into the culture and the everyday activities of the organization.

The ultimate goal is trust as an integrated part of business strategy!

Good luck with the journey!

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Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and United Kingdom

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