The VIth Sense - If You Don't Have Customers You Don't Have a Company
First, let me state the obvious. If you don't have any customers, you don't have a company. That means you don't need your operations people, your managers, your cashiers or anybody else. So, that makes your customers the absolute most important thing in your business, no matter what it is.
My family moved to a new house a few months ago, which has naturally introduced me to some new stores close to home. So (with sincere apologies to my friend who owns 7-Eleven Stores), I visited Circle K for my morning caffeine.
Day 1: I waited in line to pay for several minutes- a line that didn't move because the cashier was helping someone in the post office that, in theory, is a good idea. I left.
Day 2: I already knew better. But, this store is convenient to me (at least in location), so I tried again. Once more there was nobody behind the counter. This time, because a vendor had arrived with a load of product that needed to be checked in. That's more important than my purchase? Thankfully, the other clerk appeared- albeit eating a pig-in-a-blanket, and eventually I made my purchase.
Day 3: I think it went pretty smoothly.
Day 4: I had perfect timing with the vendor truck again, but the clerk had not yet begun checking them in... until I had grabbed my drink and was just about to the counter. The good mannered clerk excused herself from the register and started reviewing the invoice for coke products that I won't be buying there anymore. I now go out of my way to hit a 7-Eleven that wants my money more than anything (I mean that in a good way Jim).
It's easy for all of us to get caught up in our operations. In fact, most companies put more effort into ops than customer service. Chances are you have a VP of Operations. How about that VP of Customer Touch points? Marketing can get them there, but whose job is it to keep them?