woman using phone with hearts floating in the airBy Kathleen Federici, MEd

I recently had the opportunity to attend a TEDx in my hometown. TEDx includes TED Talks videos and live speakers to spark discussion and connection among the group in attendance. At this event, there were five live speakers and two speakers on video. It was interesting to see a common theme among most of the speakers: the importance of being customer-centered. One speaker was so passionate about the role of the customer that his talk was all around how to “love” your customer. I don’t believe I will be dwelling on that point, as he did, but I do believe that there is credibility in the make-or-break role of the customer.

Another speaker went on to illustrate statistics linking  longevity of an organization with how they treated their customers, regardless of the size of the company. He illustrated with charts and showed that statistically, if the customer was placed as first in the culture of the company, that organization went on to financial success no matter its size. If profits were placed first in the company culture, that organization faced financial ruin in less than eight years. He highlighted this with numerous citations.

I found this both interesting and reassuring. The University of Virginia multi-day course  IPMI holds at our annual Conference actually backs up the message. Don’t tell anyone, but they have a question on their end-of-course assessment addressing this very topic!

Although I cannot go so far as that one speaker did about “loving” the customer. I do appreciate the message and the importance of making positive connections with customers.

Kathleen Federici, MEd, is IPMI’s director of professional development.