Confused About The Customer And Surviving The Storm

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confused about the customer Dennis Gilbert

Confused About The Customer And Surviving The Storm

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Know your customers. That is just one phrase of many that might relate to the worth of understanding more about your customers. Have you ever been confused about the customer?

Blockbuster might have been confused because if they really knew and wanted to be a top player they might have looked closer at streaming video before they lost so much of their market share. I’m not sure they will survive the storm.

Educational systems, whether it is public schools or colleges and universities, they might want to work hard on understanding the customer and their products. Otherwise, their customers might continue to move away from what has been a long-standing tradition. Storms sometimes change traditions.

Brick and mortar retailers, luxury goods, and traditional advertising agencies are also among those who have a lot to consider. The storm is hitting them too. It’s likely that only a few are exempt and that exemption is temporary.

Reality Is Tough

One thing is certain. Most things aren’t staying the same. For good or for bad, things are constantly changing. Name an industry, name the traditional giants of that industry and if they haven’t substantially changed they are probably diminishing in size.

Many industry leaders claim allegiance to doing everything possible to better serve their customers, few of them get it right. Sometimes they get it right in the C-Suite but they fail to create the right culture. The opposite is true too, sometimes businesses get it right in the trenches only to hit roadblocks in the C-Suite.

Confused About The Customer

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to avoid being confused about the customer:

  • What are we doing that punishes the customer?
  • Who is defining our product and what is it?
  • What makes our product valuable?
  • Are we listening to the customer and how?
  • How are we measuring customer satisfaction?

Perhaps there isn’t a perfect answer to any of those, but honest assessment of these and many more are critical for success. I promise you that most who read those five questions believe they are already beyond them. I wonder what their customers would say.

Surviving The Storm

Customer service isn’t just a department, and neither is sales. Businesses that lack an understanding of a customer service and sales culture are businesses who won’t survive the storm.

Those who understand, well, they are the storm.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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