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Fixate on the Customer
6. Reward exceptional customer treatment. There is nothing so exhila-
rating as being honored in front of your colleagues and teammates.
This reward system can be built into the employee job description
and performance rating in the form of initiatives. As an example of a
performance initiative, the CEO of a midsize book publisher in Illi-
nois had a practice of giving employees a choice of $100 or half a day
off whenever a customer told the CEO of their good work. By broad-
casting this success, it becomes an initiative for all other employees.
7. Set the example. The culture of your company will respond whole-
heartedly to your customer-centric behavior. A signiﬁcant portion of
your time should be spent with customers.
8. Don’t settle for less than you envision. Monitor progress continuously
and take appropriate action. Communicate and give feedback to any
employee who will not get with the program. As a last resort, elim-
inate obstinate employees. There is no room in your company for
people who fail to give customers their due.
This chapter underscores the overarching importance of the customer to
your success, but only if it is the right customer. The nature of the customer-
company relationship needs to be mutually beneﬁcial. It is your responsibility
and challenge to build customer-centricity into the DNA of your culture.
Customers cost money to capture and to maintain. Welcome these costs as a
means of building strong customer relationships. The chapter closes with an
eight-step program to accomplish your vision.
⻫ Make a commitment to building a customer-centered company. Create a
credo for your vision.
⻫ Develop clear guidelines as to who is and is not your customer. Commu-
nicate these guidelines to all of your selling mechanisms.
⻫ Embed the eight steps to building a customer-loving company into your
⻫ Circulate copies of this book to your employees. Initiate discussion groups.