Over the last couple of weeks, I have found myself thinking about issues relating to ‘customer service’ and the direct impact ‘the customer’ has in driving profitability and competitiveness, particularly in the retail sector, more so as Christmas approaches. Indeed, whilst at a client meeting, when I inquired what the present key business challenge was, the answer was pretty direct: “…to increase sales, promote quality and drive down costs…” These challenges are similar across a multitude of industries and sectors, more so now than ever before, and are constantly reported in the media. Indeed, as I sit here typing away, I can hear the BBC News from my TV announcing in the background “…the British Retail Consortium announces that like-for-like sales in the UK fell 1.6% compared to this time last year…the weakest sales figures for 6 months…”.
I think it is correct to suggest that at the heart of the ‘drive’ to increase sales and drive down costs are the economic conditions being faced globally – particularly in Europe and America. The arguments for these are widely debated so we won’t tinker with them, but the pervading question remains: How do we begin to map a path toward a viable solution?? How do we practically go about increasing business sales and driving down costs? I think a good place to start may be by returning back to the very basics by asking ourselves the question: “Who is Jo(e) Bloggs”?? Continue reading