Recently I posted on LinkedIn about how customers come first and the conundrum of if it should be ‘Employees First’.
While my job, and all manager’s jobs, is to put the employees first, the company as a whole has a job to put the customer first. Without customers, there is no need for employees.
When we meet and discuss ways to fix a problem, we are sometimes guessing what customers want. The goal is to first reach out to a subset of customers to learn more but we still end up making decisions without the most important person in the room, the customer.
What’s most important for me and everyone to remember is that I am not the most important person in the room. My title may sway someone to believe otherwise but the truth is that the customer sits on top of the upside pyramid.
Having had the pleasure of running Searchspring for a little over two years, I have seen a lot of new customers come aboard and we have strived to excel and build features that customers want. We have succeeded quite often but we have certainly failed. However, we haven’t failed without trying and failure is short-lived since we work under the build fast and break often mentality. This can come back to haunt us though when it is truly broken and complicated. But we are relentless in our mission to build what customers want and we will stop at nothing to get it right, each and every time.
Building a product that works for all of our customers and their unique cases is what makes this fun and super difficult. You learn about how someone merchandises or about their promotional strategy and how your product does or does not meet their unique needs. I am all too familiar with being unique but yet thinking I am normal. I ran an online retailer for twelve years and our ways were not normal to others, but they were normal to us and we expected everyone could support us.
The uniqueness of a customer will always be there, and the challenges will never stop. But rest assured that, as a company, we strive for nothing more than to put the customer first in our thinking and caring. The employees that support all our customers are equally important in this alignment and success but we cannot forget that without customers, we have nothing more than a cool product.