Why do we all depend on the consumer?

At times solemnly crowned following hypocritical ritual practices of ambitious propaganda, then dethroned in daily operational practices by embarrassing incoherencies not well disguised “on the field”… There would actually be very little to argue as to who the “customer” really is: the main route along which the good health of every retailer travels.

Antonello Vilardi, Source Retailwatch www.retailwatch.it

This is not the usual principle of convenient and common use, but something that should find concreteness beyond every technical aspect; it is a “road” that must be systematically made the object of the most accurate maintenance work. Aki Kalliatakis is Managing Partner of THE LEADERSHIP LAUNCHPAD (customer-focus study and development group) and the author of “The customer truly is king!”, whose extremely eloquent subtitle is: “Every cent you earn depends on serving your customer.”

MR. KALLIATAKIS SUSTAINS THAT, DESPITE THE FACT THAT NEVER BEFORE IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY have we succeeded in producing so well, with innovation and efficiency, yet customers hate companies today more than in the past. But have customers changed? He believes so and he also believes it is because companies have changed, too. Brands focus on improving products and services, on consolidating systems and profits, but they are guilty of distraction towards consumers: they make them pay excessive prices for ordinary maintenance devices or for simple spare parts, and “throwing smoke in their eye” vis-à-vis many issues. Instead, companies could be more resolute – above all when they possess the financial conditions and commercial health to do so – in the implementation of staff hiring and training programs (the origin of all true growth). They could extend and augment research to make customers completely satisfied not only with innovative, functional products, but also and above all through simplified services and clear post-sales management. They could invest differently, not only unilaterally and participate in the progress of society and in the safeguard of the environment. In summary, they could transmit to the consumer that clear, pleasant and realistic message that says: “We want to reassure you on the fact that your money is important. We respect the effort you make to earn it and we would like it to be clear that with us, your money was spent to return to where it started from, generating more value for you and for society as a whole”.

EXCESSIVE IDEALISM? Perhaps not. The author, in his conclusive comment, states that you can confuse some of the people some of the time, but you cannot confuse all of the people all of the time. In today’s world dominated by media components, the truth easily emerges and short-term benefits immediately vanish, bringing with it that structure painstakingly erected to support and sustain a reputation. Those who wish to discuss this vision of things with Aki Kalliatakis, those who think they can get to know more about the customer through the help of specific competences like his, can contact him on his website: www.leadershiplaunchpad.co.za.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF HIS OBSERVATIONS. We are reporting them, underscoring them and sharing them with conviction!

“A customer is the most important visitor to our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so. The customer is not a statistic – he is a flesh-and-blood human being completely equipped with biases, prejudices, emotions.

The customer is not someone to argue with or match wits against.

Nobody ever won an argument with a customer.

A customer is a person who brings us his needs and desires. It is our job to handle them profitably for him, and for ourselves.” *

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