Jeff Bezos says “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
Actually, if the truth be told, I really don’t think that we see our customers as anything like invited guests. Certainly not the way that I have been treated lately (although in all fairness I have to be the world’s worst customer).
I think we have panic attacks when we perceive that there is a lack of clients, but the minute we have them they become an irritation and I know I feel that some of my services providers feel that they are doing me a favour just to give me any type of service. In fact in the last couple of days, I have stated on several occasions that if I were to treat my clients the way that I was being treated there would be no clients!
Think about it for a moment – when you invite guests into your home, there are those that you feel comfortable around, that you have perhaps had as friends for many years. These guests have a great deal more freedom than say new guests. They are encouraged to make themselves at home, they potter around your home, perhaps follow you into the kitchen and help with the cooking or keep you company whilst you cook. The conversation may become playful and the feeling is one of easy wellbeing. So too should it be with your customers that have been with you for some time. Relationships have been built and the feeling is one of mutual respect and well being. Still, even these guests you would not expect to wash the dishes (even if they offered – they are guests after all, not family or extended family or even good friends). You would not go to bed and leave them wandering around your home unattended.
What about your new clients or guests that you have only just met? Whilst you are not strictly formal with them, the atmosphere is still a lot more formal than with your guests that you have known for some time. I mean, I am sure that you would not let them get their own drinks, you would serve them. They would not be in the kitchen with you as you cooked or prepared the meal and they certainly would not be encouraged to wonder around your home on their own. Yes you would try and make them feel comfortable but there would be limits. Isn’t that exactly the way that it is with your new clients – are you not a whole lot more wary around them, trying to put your best foot forward, trying to give them exactly what it is that they ask for?
Actually, perhaps the question should be, isn’t that the way that it is supposed to be happening, rather than the constant irritation that I have been experiencing of late. The sullen faces, the less than interested attitude and the glances and sighs that make me feel that they are actually doing me a huge big favour and I had better just accept what it is that they give me and I had better not say anything about the manner in which I have been treated or that they have given me inferior service and useless product.
Perhaps it is time that we have another look at who and what our customers are and why they are in our lives. Perhaps if we treat them a little better, they will stick around a little longer and buy some more product or give us some more work.
Perhaps . . . .