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MMD > Archives > December 2006 > 2006.12.22 > 03Prev  Next

Know Your Customer and What He Wants
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  I'll try to keep this brief, but I believe this is very
important to the survival of our industry.  So please take heed.

In case you haven't realized it yet, the people we generally work for
are in the upper crust of society.  To these people, money is usually
not much of an object.  What is very important to them is satisfaction,
or being satisfied.  To them, they have earned the right to be critical,
especially when they are spending thousands of dollars on an item they
don't really need.

I called the owner of a consulting firm in Wisconsin last evening
because it was hard to make sense of what he was saying in an email
about a roll order he had received.  And even when I spoke to him, it
was still difficult to nail down the real problem.

As it turned out, the 'problem' was really quite simple.  QRS had put
the wrong word sheets in with the set of Christmas rolls called the
"Newest Christmas Party Pak IV" (80043).  Instead, they had put the
word sheets for Christmas Party Pak II and, of course, the words on the
sheets didn't match the songs on the rolls.

But my customer only knew the word sheets were from Party Pak II
because he had purchased Party Paks II, III, and IV at $99.00 each.
I assured him that it would be no problem to have QRS send the correct
word sheets right away, but I could hear in his voice that he still
seemed disappointed.  So I asked him about the rolls.

Then the truth came out.  His real disappointment wasn't so much that
the wrong word sheets were in the set; what really bothered him was
that the words on the rolls were so hard to read from a short distance
that it was imperative to have the correct word sheets to give to his
guests, so that they could sing along with the music.

He went on to say that he had hundreds of rolls from the 1920's, 30's
and 40's and that all the words on those rolls were still quite legible,
even though the paper was yellowing and the rolls were wearing out.
He wondered what his new rolls would be like in a few years, and was
even more concerned about what would happen if the song sheets got
misplaced, or inadvertently put in the pocket of a guest -- to be lost

The point here isn't to bash QRS for not insuring that the words on
their rolls are very clear and easily read from a distance, it's seeing
into the mind of a customer who, for all intents and purposes, is our
bread and butter.  It's said, "The Devil's in the Details", and this is
undeniably just such a case.

So, whether it's screw heads that all point in the same direction, or
words that are easily read from a distance, the most important thing to
remember about the work you do is that your survival depends greatly on
making someone, who has earned the right to be critical, "happy" --
not just in providing them with a product or a service.

Have a Blessed Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Fri 22 Dec 2006, 11:32:04 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Customer, He, Know, Wants, What, Your

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