Magazine article Marketing

Too Many Broths Spoil a Cook

Magazine article Marketing

Too Many Broths Spoil a Cook

Article excerpt

Have you noticed the latest fashion for turning familiar phases and buzzwords on their heads? You know the kind of things: just as you had got used to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", along comes "if it ain't broke, break it." Or: "Powerlessness corrupts. Absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely." And to the committed marketer of the 90s perhaps most baffling: "Put the customer second".

What can this contrary little axiom mean? Should you now bin your entire shelf of worthy treatises on customer satisfaction? Should you leave the phone ringing for a bit longer? Perhaps those old fantasies about telling your biggest customer exactly where to shove his invoice queries can now be realised.

Not at all. Indeed there is a growing realisation in business that not only must customer expectations be met, they must be exceeded. One of the 16 management guidelines contained in a new report commissioned by Diners Club and British Airways is the entreaty to "Wow the customer". Not just satisfy him, note, but positively gob-smack him.

Now that product differentiation has become such a hard nut for marketers to crack, it is frequently in the service area that competitive advantage can be most readily achieved, and where customers are most likely to be "wowed". …

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