Many companies want customers to be attentive to them, but fewer want to be truly attentive to their customers. As with many things, this is an area in which business imitates life.
Think of the classic story: boy meets girl--a romance begins. Within the romance, the boy (if he’s smart) tries to find out as much as he can about the girl. He scrutinizes her closely – who is this girl? What makes her tick? How can he endear himself to the girl in the most efficacious manner?
So now the boy has found out, or thinks he has found out, all he can about this girl. He puts on his thinking cap. He takes stock of what he has to offer, based on what this girl wants. He tries to figure out what he can change about himself to improve his chances.
The boy comes up with his “change for the future” checklist and starts to transform himself. Why? So one day, one memorable day (for better or for worse), he can ask that girl to marry him. Hopefully, she says yes...and then...a lifetime of customer service to ensure retention!
That's right--it is after the relationship commitment has been made that the real work starts. The level of attentiveness has to be maintained, if not increased.
Imagine this scenario: the girl changes over the course of the marriage; new "customer priorities" emerge. Did the boy recognize those changes as they took place, or two years after the fact? Was he being as attentive as he should have been?
The best business skills are life skills.
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Posted by: dover beachcomber -
Oct. 02, 2019 12:43 AM ET USA
I have worked on the staff of a diocese, and I heartily agree. A big portion of the budget went for expensive programs whose goals were vague and whose results were never measured. Lots of travel to conferences and seminars, too.
Posted by: Foundas -
Sep. 28, 2019 1:06 PM ET USA
I absolutely agree. For the most part, each year, the diocese asks for money that covers administrative costs with little actually going to charitable works. They get no money from me and I support various groups around the country.
Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 -
Sep. 27, 2019 9:32 PM ET USA
Amen! And then the Bishops could not do all the work of the dismissed bureaucracy and would have to concentrate on the essentials.
Posted by: jtuturic3013 -
Nov. 19, 2009 9:55 AM ET USA
Interesting commentary. When I was going through business school the thought came to me that much of what was taught was common sense. It was just taught in a formal environment. But long before business schools existed, successful business people learned from life. They still do ... well, some do. Just goes to show that there's nothing new under the sun.