A few months ago I came across this quote from Steve Jobs:
Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves. — Steve Jobs
That quote made me think about what it may take to develop such a deep level customer understanding. In my mind, I could only think about one word: Obsession.
Definition: Obsession: noun ob·ses·sion \äb-ˈse-shən, əb-\ : a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal : an activity that someone is very interested in or spends a lot of time doing
If you had to put a poster on the wall with your thoughts on customer obsession, what would you write? How would you communicate what customer obsession means to you?
I gave it a go and this is what I came up with:
In this business, we think obsession is a good thing.
We are obsessed about getting feedback and doing something about it.
We are obsessed about building a culture that preserves our obsession for customers.
Customer-obsession is not about being reactive.
Customer-obsession is about empathy
In this business, we care about our customers.
We listen carefully and observe.
We think long term.
We build relationships over time.
We treat our customers with respect.
We are helpful every day.
In this business, we treat customers for who they are.
Good people trying to do a good job.
We know we are just a small part of their world, but we make it count.
In this business, we work hard to serve our customers better.
They can’t tell us what to build. But building without them is an end without a purpose.
In this business, we believe in doing remarkable work.
Remarkable work requires more than good intentions and good will.
It requires obsession. Obsession with details, with results, with genuine collaboration.
In this business, we are customer-obsessed.
Download the PDF here
I would love to hear what you would add or change in this short manifesto. What does customer obsession mean to you?