Yildiz: Winning as a Consumer-Centric Business
February 29, 2020 at Ülker Sports Arena, Istanbul
“Hello! I am your customer.
Yes, a real person, a human being.
I have my needs and wants, to get through the day, and to achieve what I must.
But I also have my hopes, dreams and ambitions.
For too long you have treated me as a name or number.
You group me into what you call a segment, or sometimes just a mass market.
But I’m not prepared to tolerate that anymore.
I am me. Don’t treat me like somebody else.
Sometimes I might be very similar to others,
but I can also be very different and discerning.
In the old world, I realise I didn’t have much choice.
I needed you more than your needed me.
But things have changed.
Now I have the power. Now I’m in control.
You need me, more than I need you.
It’s time you started doing business on my terms.
In fact, why are you actually in business?
Just to make as much money as you can, from whatever you can?
Or to make a difference, to make my life better?
I don’t mind if you make money.
If you can do something more for me, I want you to succeed too.
You’ll be able to invest in creating an even better business
With more rewards for both of us.
Why don’t you learn a bit more about me? Come and listen to what I really want.
I’d love to tell you what I’m really trying to achieve.
Not just whether or not I want your latest gadget, gizmo or gumption.
Why don’t we get together and find a way to really solve my problem?
I’d even be happy to pay more if you can really help me find the right solution.
And what about that brand of yours?
Your name, your logo, and all those pretentious advertising slogans?
They’re all about you, and how great you are.
Actually, Im more interested in me, and what you can do for me.
Start thinking about my world.
Don’t sell me travel tickets, help me explore the world.
Don’t sell me running shoes, help me to run a personal best.
Don’t sell me potted plants, help me to create a magical garden.
Stop bombarding me with your smug (but highly creative, you tell me) campaigns.
Telling me what you want to sell, when and how you want to tell me.
I’m not here just to prop up your sales targets.
I have got a life you know. I will buy things, but in my own time, on my terms.
Worst of all are all those unsolicited mail shots and phone calls.
They interrupt me and frustrate me. And eventually make me hate you.
When I do want something, I expect it to be easy.
Come to me, or to places convenient for me.
Rather than making me go to places convenient for you.
And at times to suit me.
I expect what I’ve seen online to be in your stores, or to be available by phone.
And to be able to take it back to any of your places, if I don’t like it.
But I want you to be open and honest about what the deal is.
None of those hidden clauses or additional costs.
Sometimes I wonder if you’re trying to trick me, and whether I can really trust you.
And when I do decide to buy something from you, please don’t call me Sir or Madam.
Don’t just follow a process or a script. Try and learn something about me.
And whilst we’re on the subject of stereotypes, please don’t say goodbye
with one of those fake “have a nice day” smiles,
which I know you have already done a thousand times today already.
If I can get any book or music delivered to my door in 24 hours
Then why shouldn’t I expect a new car, a new washing machine, and new home to be just as quick?
And if you treat me with you the best service when I’m a big cheese at work
Then I don’t expect to come back later and be treated like trash as an individual.
Treat me well as an individual and I will tell all my friends how good you are
And I might even switch to you as a corporate customer too.
Treat me as a human being. And be a yourself, not a corporate clone.
I know you get rewarded for satisfying me. But frankly I expect much more than that.
I demand 100% satisfaction, and 100% of that so-called delight too.
Every time I talk to your people. Every time I experience anything to do with you.
It should be right, it should be excellent, it should be perfect.
However I don’t want the same every time. Life’s too short and a bit boring.
To be honest, I’d sometimes like you to surprise me!
Which brings me to something that a friend of mine tells me that you care about a lot…
Whether I really want to come back again. And do. And buy more. And tell others.
So you give me a plastic card. With something like a 1% discount.
Hmmm. To be honest I think loyalty is something that has to work both ways.
If you trust me, care for and do more for me. I might just do likewise.
But a relationship is perhaps asking too much of me.
Do I really want a relationship with a big anonymous company? I think not.
I know you invested millions in those customer relationship management systems.
But all I get is yet more pieces of direct mail. About what and when you want.
I’d much prefer to get to know other people who share my passions.
For travelling. Or running. Or gardening. Real people like me.
The best thing you could do is help me build relationships with other people in my world.
Help us to share our experience and opinions, even about you.
Help us to share our ideas and interests, and to do what we love most.
I’m then happy to buy your products. And delighted to be part of your community.
And you might even find the things I say and share, are valuable to you too.
Surely measuring how strongly I feel about you, and intend to do more with you
Are much better, forward-looking indicators of your success, than your financial history.
And one final thing about people – the real people, the human beings who work for you.
I know they work incredibly hard, but I wonder what life is like for them
So what makes them tick? Want to do more? To even surprise me?
I want to support a company that cares about its own people too. It cares about who makes its products, and the impact it has on people all around the world. Because I bet they care a lot more about me as a person, than me as a product.
If you give them time, and encourage them to know me, maybe they can create a much better solution to my needs, which I’d be happy to pay more for, and therefore better results for your business too.
When you think about it. I know you’re a real person just like me.
But when you go to work you put your blinkers on. You restrict yourself to some artificially defined sector.
Whilst I see a bigger, more exciting, more connected world. You become a slave to short-term, transactional thinking. Whilst I think without limits.
You follow conventions and prejudices of your own making. Whilst for me, everything is possible.
It’s simple really. You’ve just got to see my world.
Do business from the outside in. Not the inside out.
Start with me, and everything else follows. We can be real people together. Happy supporting each other. With so much more opportunity. And more fun.
Together we can do extraordinary things”
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