For so many of us, it can sometimes seem like every minute of every day is consumed in working on all the absolutely critical things that it takes to be successful in business today.
While busy building your business success; planning, problem solving, coordinating, communicating, coaching and cheerleading, it’s important to take a step back from time to time, to ponder on a simple paraphrase of Peter F Drucker’s famous definition of business purpose… and remember why you are really here.
Whatever your business is, whatever product or service you provide, and regardless of how you define it, your success is going to be much more difficult to come by if you:
a) aren’t creating customers,
b) are creating customers who are anything but satisfied or,
c) aren’t retaining the customers you are creating
Long-term success in the business-to-business business isn’t much more than a good intention if your very purpose in that business isn’t somehow modeled around the creation and retention of satisfied customers.
The esteemed Drucker quote came from his 1954 “Principles of Management” where he claimed that any business’ single purpose must be simply “ to create a customer.” We’ve come a long way since 1954; a very long way. Most successful B2B business people today have evolved to recognize the important distinction between simply creating account numbers and the value that comes in creating satisfied, long-lasting customer relationships.
By now, most of us know of the adage that it costs more to GET a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Experts range in their estimates; calculating that cost at anywhere from 4 to 10 times more. Seriously, why bother GETTING customers, if you’re not planning on proactively KEEPING them?
If Mr Drucker was alive today, he’d undoubtedly profess that the only valid definition of a business’ purpose is to CREATE and RETAIN SATISFIED CUSTOMERS.