Alan Weiss told a very interesting story a while ago.
A local coffee shop had a glass case that displayed all of their tasty treats to passersby. One day, the display case exploded for one reason or another. (I didn’t really know that glass display cases exploded, but I guess they do. You learn something new every day.)
No problem, the owner of the shop ordered a replacement case. It was going to take a month to ship it. Problem. So in the interim, he took a big piece of cardboard and wrote “We have the usual delicious treats inside, just ask.” Then he slapped it up on the wall where the glass case used to stand.
Alan asked the owner why he didn’t take photos of his cakes and pastries and just tape them to the outside of the cardboard. The owner was shocked. Hm…what a good idea. This concept never dawned on the owner.
The owner’s problem was he was thinking of HIS issue, that of replacing the glass case. He was not thinking about the customer’s issue, that of choosing desserts.
Every decision in your business must be made with the customer in mind. Every decision. That doesn’t mean that 100% of the decisions you make should be based on what the customer wants and nothing else, but the decision-making process should start with the customer. Otherwise, over time, you’ll lose heaps of money without even realizing it.
Start with the customer.