Voice of the Restaurant Industry
Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Our mission is to support our stores so that they are able to do what is most important in retail — serve our customers' needs.
The mission of ___________ is dedication
to the highest quality of Customer Service
delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness,
individual pride, and Company Spirit.
What do these 3 mission statements have in common? The answer - several things actually, however the most obvious is these companies are“customer-centric”!
Wikipedia describes customer-centric as follows:
Customer centricity refers to the orientation of a company to the needs and behaviors of its customers, rather than internal drivers (such as the quest for short term profit).
So why does it seem like we can count the truly customer centric companies on our on our god-given digits? Why don’t more companies get it? I think Wikipedia highlights the most plausible excuse - “the quest for short term profit”.
I acknowledge that this is not a new debate. As a matter of fact, I’d venture to say this conversation has been going on since Caesar invented his famous salad. Let me set the record straight. Profit makes the world go round. My point is when profit dominates the conversation it is detrimental. I don’t think I have to provide you with the obits of the companies that have croaked because short term profits became way too important...
Here’s my hypothesis on what happens to companies. This and $2.70 will get you a Grande Americano at Starbucks. I believe that companies have the best intentions; in general they want the customer to be #1. However as organizations grow, fear creeps into their psyche and they worry too much about protecting their profit margins. The day to day conversations become more about profit and less about the customer. It’s easy to justify the focus on profit because after all we are in the business to make money, aren’t we?
Here’s the rub. You can’t lead with both. You certainly can (and must) talk about both but when your brand ambassadors (your front line employees) get a sense that you are talking out of both sides of your mouth, the focus on customers will be minimized.
The changed marketplace adds to the conundrum. Think about it... Today consumers are more savvy and they have more choices. This presents a challenge for all brands in all segments. People are not as interested in what you say as they are in what other consumers say about your product and they can access this information at the click of a mouse.
Bottom line you can no longer provide lip service on how customers are #1. If you don’t deliver (with no strings attached), they’ll be outta your place faster than a speeding bullet. Let’s not even think about the collateral damage that can occur in this situation.
There are so many positives inherent in this new world of connected transparency for companies who get it. The key is to create a culture that is customer-centric then do everything within your power to make sure that your culture is never compromised. Embrace this thought of “connected transparency”. If you try to hide or even sit on the fence, your chances for success will be limited.
In case you were wondering the mission statement examples come from Starbucks, The Container Store and Southwest Airlines. Three companies whose financial results speak for themselves. Interestingly enough not a single one of them mentions profit in their mission statement. They understand you have to lead with something and all three companies have chosen the customer!
I’d love to hear some comments on companies you think are customer-centric!