I've written before about Peter Drucker's book The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization and Question Number 2 (WHO IS MY CUSTOMER).

Right now, real quick....WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER?

Chances are you stumbled and answered it at least partially wrong. Who is typically treated as the customer is never the only customer and an attempt to satisfy that customer only leads to poor performance. Drucker writes in the book at length about the second type of customers, or supporting customers. They are all people that have the ability to cause you rejection.

Much like the key salesperson being the one delivering the service, the real customer is not just the one writing a check. What if you never interact with the purpose writing the check? Who then is your customer? Does that mean you have a customer?

This revision has been edited by Jim Collins and others: "if Peter Drucker were alive today, he would amend his observation from 40 years ago, when he said, "the purpose of a company is to create a customer." Today he would say, "the best companies don't create customers. They create fans." He would say that it is less important to report better profits this year than to check on whether you improved your share of the customer's mind and heart this year.

Everyone, every team, every company, every manager, every executive every board must do a better job of understanding who the customer is and how to create fans of those customers.

Note we aren't talking about "know your customer." That's different than "know who your customer is."

While the org chart can be top-down, or inverted, or sideways, it doesn't matter unless everyone understands and accepts who the customer is FIRST. Take the time, it matters.

Keep this out in front, right along with your mission statement. Know your mission, know who your customer is.

To that end.....

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