The phrase Customer Centricity is used often today as if it’s something new and mystical, and it’s often used by people without really knowing what it means.
I’ve been working all my life, and I am now 68, I left school at the age of 15 and started work in Sainsbury’s, not the modern supermarkets but the real customer-centric high street grocery stores but you need to be my age or older to remember these as I worked in one of the last to close before leaving home to work in the newly opened Sainsbury supermarket in Bracknell.
So, what do we mean by customer-centric? There is no real trick to it, its plain common sense, if you want to keep your clients coming back time and again, you put them at the heart of your business and build your product base around them, I like to think that like most forward thinking business people, we instil this in our staff and it becomes automatic.
Much of the success of the Society of Will Writers has been through our customer-centricity approach, by putting the member first, listening to what they want and what they need to help them do their job and in turn run successful businesses themselves. In turn they become customer-centric where their own clients are concerned. It’s a continuous circle but only if you continue to get it right.
Such has been the success in recruitment of new members and keeping existing members is that we all at head office treat members as the professional individuals they are.
I have never forgotten the early day after I left school and joined the team at Sainsbury’s in Southall, and the fear of being called into Miss Potter’s office if you were not correctly dressed, or your shoes were dirty or you forgot to put a tie on, even though it would not be seen under the high necked ‘bum freezer’ double breasted jackets we wore in all weathers behind the counter, if anything was out of place we were sent home and our pay docked. But that experience set me for life in my business dealings and attitude to people, whether they be clients or colleagues, I have tried to apply that in every aspect of my working life and instil similar in others.
So, call it what you like, it all comes down to old fashioned customer service, respect and loyalty and you will keep your clients.
Brian W McMillan
The Society of Will Writers