What is your product or service? Is it relationship oriented or based on the materialistic nature of production? Customer work, being in the relationship business, likely matters the most.
It happens with retail banking. Everyone has nearly an identical product. Checking and savings accounts, mortgage or automobile loans, and other aspects of their business are commonly known as the product.
Only, that isn’t their product.
Their product is their service and customer excellence. It is about the relationships being built, strengthened, and maintained. It is about future transactions and retention.
Once upon a time, nearly everything was purchased at a store. A retail environment where the store front and people mattered. Today, often the closest relationship you form is with a website, FedEx, or UPS.
Largely, Amazon doesn’t make anything it sells. The same goes for eBay or other forms of online retailers. Walmart doesn’t make anything.
You don’t buy your automobile direct from the factory. Largely, the same is true for electronics, clothing, and shoes.
Who is really servicing the customer? Who owns the customer relationship? Is it the manufacturer? If you buy a gallon of milk or a carton of eggs at a retail grocery store, is your relationship with the farmer?
Managing the end-customer relationship may be the hardest part. It is where the markup occurs.
Manufacturing, farming, or other aspects of a product or service creation matter. Without this aspect there is nothing to sell.
Yet, at the same time it is the work of creating, building, and maintaining the customer relationship that closes the sale. Online or traditional retail.
A good product or brand may be considered trustworthy, but the relationship built inspires trust.
Are you mindful of your role in the supply chain?
Everyone has a product. Doing the work of customer management matters the most.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.