Newsletters & Blogs


2010-09-22
You’ve simply got to know what your customers want…


The Consumer protection Act is serving to highlight a few critical business issues. One of these is that doing business is about marketing, selling and delivering a product that customers really want – in terms of use, purpose, quality etc. Going forward every business has to know its customer like it has never known them before.

This presents some serious challenges – but incredible opportunities to those who get it right.

What are some of these challenges? 

Three that spring to mind are:

  1. Getting to know your customers is all about engagement – too often we only engage our customers when we want them to buy what we are selling. In the future we have to engage customers far earlier than ever before, possibly even before we even have a product or service to sell;
  2. Information has to be managed (and protected). Customer information is going to be one of the most valuable assets a business has – and one of those things that needs to be protected like never before. Information management entail everything from gathering, to storing, to sorting, to using it. Every one of these steps has to be designed, implemented and maintained (and monitored);
  3. Customers change – either because we are always dealing with new ones or because they themselves grow, develop and move on. We need to “talk” to customers about our product and services in ways that are understandable to them, about what their real needs are - in order to ensure that when they purchase what we are offering their needs are met in a way that they can understand (this sounds like circular thinking – maybe it is).

And so moving forward successfully in the new Consumer Based business environment is going to both stretch our existing business skill sets and demand that we learn some new ones.

Where do we start?

  1. A good place to begin is to clearly identify the areas of your business that are affected and impacted by the Consumer Protection Act. Categorise these in terms of impact (higher to lower – to create some sense of priorities). 
  2. Next map the people who are responsible for these elements of your business – right from the top down (the Board and Directors are ultimately accountable for the entire business – refer the New Companies Act). 
  3. Clearly examine the roles of the people involved, assess their responsibilities, mandates and the accountability structures within the business – do the new requirements require additional skills and knowledge, if so arrange the required training (on both the Consumer Protection Act, its impact, and the specific areas of need).

This should get the process moving – for more information and ideas around customer engagement strategies, information management (design and implementation of systems) and better understanding and responding to your customers please CONTACT US.