You know that feeling of sheer elation and headiness? It feels like you are floating through the day. You have a big smile on your face! Your feet are walking on air as you move elegantly from place to place with not a worry in the world!
Everything is wonderful in your world, and even if it’s not elsewhere, it’s all wonderful with you and yours!
Life is short, after all, and I do sincerely hope that you have experienced that feeling that often evolves into true love.
But of course, you now might be wondering: What does this have to do with businesses and supply chains?
Well, as stated in the last entry, a critical requirement for a successful business is that you have fallen in love with your customers.
Obviously, the love being discussed here isn’t the romantic-comedy sort. But still, it’s quite similar and it has critical requirements that include:
- Genius-level innovation and highly appealing marketing strategies.
- An extraordinary offer aligned to fulfilling the needs of your ideal customer.
And if you are not in love with this ideal customer, then you are not even in the game!
Now, let’s have a quick exploration of this idea.
Think about the businesses that you have interacted with in the last week.
Were any of them in love with you? Did any one of them meet your needs (and more) to the extent that their seamless provision of their services doesn’t even hit your radar… that it just all worked?
If you thought of a government department, a bank, a utility, a phone service provider,or a large supermarket you are not really experiencing a business in love with their clients. (And yes, these businesses will eventually work it out, but don’t hold your breath! For the rest of us, though, we do need to be outstanding in meeting the needs of our ideal client.)
There might be smaller local businesses that do this well. U.S. shoe retailer Zappos comes to mind.
They were the first people to sell shoes on the internet and their model was not working. A new director came on board and suggested an irresistible offer. People could buy as many shoes as they want, and return the ones they grew less fond of. Zappos would then go as far as to pay for the return shipping. (And despite all those who thought that this would drive them to bankruptcy, They did this and it worked.)
The model has been copied by many now, some 15 years later, but they were the first. And as you can see, the initial idea was based on meeting their ideal customer needs. Women wanted to buy beautiful shoes (preferably as many as possible) yet who would keep them if they looked nice but didn’t really fit well?
Knowing this then, what about your business? Is your business in love with your ideal client, and what does that mean in terms of your offering?
Be careful here. Many people and many businesses think they are. But in reality, they are only ever in love with their own products.
That is not what this is about.
If your organisation was in love with their ideal client and servicing them appropriately, then what KPIs would they be looking at on a daily or hourly basis? (If you want a suggestion, what about perfect order delivery to the ideal target demographic? You can also consider the customer complaints coming from this same demographic as a basic starting point, but is your business looking at these KPIs? Are you looking at these KPIs?)
Some of you may already be protesting this notion. Many have certainly said, “You can’t put a number on loving your ideal client! Supply chains are about operating in detached, calm and stoic methodologies on an ongoing basis. There’s no room for sentimentality!”
What if I told you that this is what it means to be more in love with your product and your process than with your ideal client?
What if I told you that you are already experiencing the sentimental headiness of the feeling, acting as if you were floating on air, and your feet are not touching the floor, hardly grounded to where we need to be to exceed at our chosen supply chain profession?
Ultimately it’s all the same except for the crucial difference in that being in love with your ideal client brings truly positive, effective change rather than being caught up in your attachment to your own product.
Being in love with your ideal client means you go to work every day passionate about how you are spending 30% or more of your life in service to them.(Finally, you have a purpose outside of yourself!)
Furthermore, what about your team? Do you think you could better engage, motivate and (dare I say) inspire them if they too knew what their ideal client actually wanted and needed?
So, I’ll ask the question again? Have you fallen in love, not with your product, but with your ideal client?
We speak about customer experience all the time, but can you truly nominate one single business that does it well, and in a way that doesn’t require a customer to spend more time fixing everyone else’s mistakes because that’s just how customer service works these days? Have you tried to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client trying to buy your products and services? Have you even tried to use your own website, to view it, to order products, to buy products, to make a complaint, to use your chat bot – is all of it even working?
Here’s where a fit-for-purpose supply chain comes into play. Presumably, we all have an idea of what our ideal client looks like, what he/she needs and how we are going to deliver that offering seamlessly and perfectly.
Do you want to be outstanding or are you happy simply being OK, good or even excellent, but not outstanding? I wonder what happens to all the businesses that are not in love with servicing their ideal clients, and therefore not outstanding? Let’s hope you and your business never find out!
So, where in this moment, is the opportunity for you and your business?
(Image taken from Pixabay.)