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Don’t Ever Take The Customer For A Fool...

What’s often glaringly obvious during these kinda and maybe post-pandemic and Living With Covid times is just how oblivious many organisations and companies are to the fact that they are operating in kinda and maybe post-pandemic and Living With Covid times.

It’s not “business as usual” as the big old world has been flipped on its head and changed forever.

Being “customercentric” is something completely different to what it was- and very often, something intangible.

It’s not about trying to buy loyalty, or hope the mistake will go away with some ill-thought-through corporate “solution”. This usually make things worse. It shows up shallowness.

Today’s consumer or customer doesn’t know what they want- but they recognise it when it’s experienced.

This has everything to do with creating an emotional bond between supplier and customer.

More often than not, those roles can be reversed and neither trumps the other.

The customer can also often become one’s best marketing team, especially in this day and age of social media.

This cannot be done by reaching for another lazy slice of some “loyalty programme” that’s been laying around in Old Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard for the past two or three decades.

I am writing this not because I recently came up against some appalling gaffes in service, but because those who tried to handle the problem mishandled it might still have my business, but not my respect.

Very often, respect for a brand is what loyalty programmes are all about.

It’s something I learned in the many years I worked on the marketing and advertising for McDonald’s.

The leadership, at least in Hong Kong, of Daniel Ng, below, was superb as were his intuitive skills.

Daniel didn’t do things by the book. If anything, he threw the Big McBook out of the window.

Like Keith Reinhard, pictured below, my mentor in advertising, and very probably in life, made us young creatives understand how it always came down to advertising that “appealed to heart and head”.

In other words, being honest in all communications, and, somehow, tapping into that certain something one can never learn or teach.

It’s something that only comes from life experiences. Just ask Don Draper.

We’re often not honest enough- with ourselves, with others and continue down the same old path, because, well arrogance and ignorance are meaningless bliss.

At a time when teamwork in everything is so important, more and more that Great Global Divide is getting larger and larger until it eventually gobbles us up.

When that day comes, we’ll only have ourselves to blame.

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