“Customer-First” is a good buzzword in some circles recently, particularly among those working in the “Customer Experience” space. It’s a word that I originally picked up while working in Japan managing the Lands’ End operations there in the 1990’s. We were looking for an easier way to simplify what we stood for in order to get all of our Japanese colleagues on board with what the essence of Lands’ End was. Believe it or not, the “Japanized” version “カスタマー・ファースト” is what we used before I made a habit of using it in English. As a department manager however, it was electrifying to see what the impact was of having such a simple, clear mission for everyone. The one thing I learned above all else and that will come through on these pages going forward was that going out of your way for a customer is actually the most efficient business model there is.
In the coming months, I want to delve into topics that are relevant to you. Taking the business model implicit in the “Customer-First” mantra, how do we view some of the common areas of interest in creating world-class businesses and Brands through that lens? Personally, I have great interest in these topics:
- Leadership – what are the successful org models that favor the customer?
- Branding and Marketing – how does “Customer-First” make your marketing more effective?
- Innovation – what makes the difference for companies that drive real innovation?
- Operational Effectiveness – creating simplicity for customers, efficiency for you.
- Management Culture – what is the mindset and skills required to make this work?
How about you? I’d like to hear your personal experiences in this space, and am interested in sharing and exploring your questions, interests and stories. Know someone we should talk to? Or have an egregious example of where it all went wrong? Share through the comments page or contact me directly.
Given the way the world of customer satisfaction is viewed by the average consumer today, it looks like we have a lot to talk about!