That One Customer
“The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife” – David Ogilvy
I believe this is one of the most powerful quotes in all of marketing, and in business in general. In our day to day, when we are surrounded by our coworkers and peers, it can be so easy to fall into a vernacular filled with technical language, industry jargon, and strategy. We spend every day talking about and thinking in our respective industries. As experts in our industries, we wield a vast, deep, and ever-expanding knowledge in our chosen career.
This wealth of knowledge often acts as a divider between us and our customers. Our lives are dedicated to knowing our craft so we can help people make decisions that benefit them. But all to often, they are just too slow to keep up with us. They can’t seem to wrap their heads around our new and improved software, phone, or vehicle. It’s such a chore to bring our understanding down to these people’s level of understanding.
Therein lies the rub. These “people” are our wives, our brothers, our friends. They are intelligent and diverse individuals who are sensitive to expression, tone of voice, and other social cues. They may not understand the technical language we are prone to speak, but they will pick up on your frustration, your arrogance, your mood faster than you can say “Where did all my customers go?”
As professionals, we deal with people every day who have no idea what we do or how we do it. We are bogged down with explaining every little detail over and over again. We know our products and services like the back of our hand. We have dedicated our lives to being familiar with every little facet of what we do and what we sell. Is it really so much to ask that our customers do a little bit of research before talking to us? Yes. Yes it is.
For a moment, put yourself in a situation similar to theirs. You are busy with work, family life, and other of life’s little problems. You have a need for a particular service that you know little about. You don’t have time to learn about it, and really just need it to get done. When you go in to procure this particular service, you get confused trying to keep up with the professional explaining the service and you get frustrated that you are confused. Suddenly you become the bewildered customer who has no idea what is going on, and need the professional to walk you through every little part (like they have done with dozens of others that day).
As an ad agency, we try everyday to remember that the people we serve are people just like us. They have their own dreams and aspirations, their own troubles and worries, and their own customer difficulties, just like we do. Next time you get aggravated at a customer, just remember that it could just as easily be you, your friend, or your relative on the other side of that conversation.