Monday, April 1, 2013

Indian Retail - Point & Counterpoint: What is Customer Orientation?

Change has always been an issue for any Retailer and this is about the change in terms of currency. As shoppers we all tend to hand over large denomination currency and expect the Retailer to give us change. Smaller, stand alone stores handle this by giving small toffees in lieu of change and if we do not want that, it is either give the exact change or live with it!
Larger stores especially the chain stores cannot afford the indulgence of handing out toffees or sweets instead of change. It is expected that they give the correct change to the customer. Therefore these chains try and get adequate amount of change from a variety of sources apart from the banks that even include the groups of beggars. Read more about this in my earlier post.
This is both a business need which is painful as also a sensitive point with regard to customers.
That is the context, when I saw the following poster in a shop and I was very impressed by this initiative and also astute step. In a single stroke this Retailer has combined his business need with a shopper issue and has managed to create value all around.
  • Value to the customer because they will benefit for no significant extra effort.
  • Value to the business because, for no incremental cost, the Retailer is resolving an issue without having to run around for it.

This is what I call as a true customer orientation: a solution to a business need that clearly benefits the customer directly or indirectly.
So, customer orientation is not a separate, independent activity or department’s responsibility. It is about ensuring that every business activity of the Retailer delivers an end customer benefit and conversely, that also helps the business.
CLICK HERE to join the discussion about “Customer Orientation” on my page and share your perspectives and examples.


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