Does this sound like a scary thought? Imagine having those confidential company meetings with a customer in the room.
If it sounds scary, why? Are you making decisions that you know are not in the customer’s favor? Are you making decisions that, if a customer found out, would make it clear that your company is really jerking them around for your own benefit?
This is one of the big problems today. Companies walk around touting their customer focus, yet they don’t include the customer in decisions that will affect them (that means almost every decision you make by the way).
Am I suggesting that you call a customer to sit in your boardroom, no, while it might be a great idea for some, it might be impossible for others. What I am suggesting is asking “how will this affect our customer?” in every meeting. Interestingly, I have heard of a company that actually has an empty chair in their meetings with a large sign on it that says “customer.” This is the seat for the customer. The way this company sees it, if you are uncomfortable saying something or making a decision in front of the customer, don’t do it or adjust the thinking so that the customer benefits.
As I say over and over, business is solely in business to serve the needs of customers. This is true of every business, everywhere. So why make decisions that leave them out?
It’s simple really, keep the customer in the center of your company’s decisions and watch loyalty…and profits…rise.