There are certain idioms in business relating to the customer—“the customer is always right”, “put the customer first”—but perhaps the most applicable for any business is, “know your customer”. No matter the company, industry, or job title, this relates to everyone, and is important to always keep in mind.
Who is your customer? On a daily basis, are you working for your boss, for your direct reports, for the end user, for a sales rep, etc.? This is something every employee should know, because the next question—an especially important one—can’t be answered otherwise: “what does your customer want?” Whoever your customer is, your goal should be to give them what they want, whether it’s a more profitable business, a long-lasting product, or the most economical choice.
We take this seriously at Stern Companies—on the whole, as a company, and each and every employee as well. We know and understand many different options and processes. We are able to look at a part and determine what process would be right for the project, whether it’s rotomolding, blow molding, or something else. We investigate what our customer wants and needs. We know that the best way to work for our customers is by learning and understanding what works best for them.
Each individual employee knows who his or her customer is, what he or she wants, and how to deliver it. For example, each Project Coordinator and Sales Rep have their own customers. Each will focus on their customers, getting to know them better (and what they want), while everyone simultaneously works together as a team, learning from each other and keeping a cohesive unit, focused on quality. It’s a system that works well for us—and ultimately, for the customer.