Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer
Once upon a time there was a furniture store. The store had wonderful customers for a long time and thrived.
At one point in time, however, the owner of the store, named Curtis, noticed that business had gone down. Customers weren’t buying what the store had to sell as much as they used to do so. Revenue was down. Profits were down.
The Customer Complaint Department overflowed with customer complaints, so they stopped answering the telephone.
Curtis had to find out what was happening to his customers. Here’s what Curtis did:
- Curtis went to his employees and asked them what they wanted. They told him they wanted a nicer employee lounge and they wanted the company to provide privileges for them at a local golf course. Curtis granted their requests.
- Curtis went to his vendors (suppliers). They told him they wanted Curtis to pay them higher prices for supplies. Curtis granted their requests.
- Curtis went to his Board of Directors and told them about the employees’ requests and the vendors’ requests.
- Curtis went to his happiest customers and asked them why they were happy with the furniture store. The furniture store’s happiest customers told Curtis why they were so happy with the furniture store.
For some reason, the furniture continued to lose business. Curtis was desperate. He began to seek out people who had never shopped at his furniture store. He met with them and asked them why they didn’t shop at his furniture store. Almost all of them responded by explaining to Curtis that they didn’t need any furniture.
Curtis never spoke with his list of the former customers who went away from the store and began purchasing their furniture needs elsewhere.
Curtis’ furniture store eventually went out of business.