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Dear Customer

Written by Monique Jansen for Buljan & Partners Consulting

WARNING: the content of the following post is FICTION. Although more and more companies are implementing customer centric strategies these days, CEOs still apologize frequently to customers while decision makers have to listen more to the customers’ needs. That’s why there is still a lot of work to be done.

Dear Customer,

Taking the opportunity on the start of a new year, as CEO of my company I would like to share with you some thoughts and promises: things that have bothered me for a long time but somehow –you know how busybusybusy I am– I’ve not been able to act upon. I hope you will forgive me after having you neglected and ignored for so many years.

  • Let’s start with this: I have to admit: YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO ME. You have taught me what you expect from our products & services. You have given me reasons to employ new staff. You have spent lots of money in our products & services; you have fed many mouths because of that. THANK YOU!
  • Now, because of all those lessons you have taught me, I must concede, that I wasn’t using your advices very well. And more importantly, I did not encouraged my staff to do so either, nor I gave them the freedom to do so.
  • Instead I encouraged my management team to create many internal processes and protocols that we did not leave anything un-documented. I even rewarded everyone for this, and I reward them even more if they stick to those rules. Looking back at this, I have doubts if I did well. I promise to rethink about this through. Please be patient; changing my organization to believe in a new remuneration concept will neither be easy nor quick, but I give you my word to at least try.
  • Now that I think of it, dear customer, maybe you would want to take part in this transformation. Would you please like to help me out?
  • I also want to do more to make my company more natural-resource-conscious. Surely we will never be Greenpeace, but we should try and avoid any waste of paper, reduce the usage of un-renewable energies, maybe we should even renew our vehicle fleet. Would this appeal to you? Or you really don´t not mind and just want us to give you good products & services?
  • Next I would like to apologize for all those occasions, when we haven´t taken your complaints or suggestions seriously, or for those occasions that we did not want to invest in a solution that would suit you. We were just thinking short-term, if we would have been thinking long-term I am sure we would have served you even better.
  • When you have called our office, did you feel that the person on the other end of the call was “smiling”? Probably not. I think I know now the reason, and I will try my best to have my people “smiling” at you on the other end of the line or on the other hand of the chat-box. I am thinking of giving them more empowerment to resolve your issues and fulfill your needs. I will not measure them only on complying with the processes, I will measure and reward them, depending on the customer satisfaction they generate. How about that?
  • Last but not least: WE REALLY WANT TO KEEP YOU AS A CUSTOMER, could you please give us the benefit of the doubt and stay with us?

Yours truly,

The CEO.

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