It's the Customer, Stupid! | Cypress Semiconductor
It's the Customer, Stupid!
March 16, 2010
While driving in to work today I heard on the news about the problems two major institutions, one commercial and one spiritual. Being widely different, what they have in common is that both did not put the needs of their customers above all else. In both cases when this came to the public’s attention they immediately lost any credibility. Now both are at the mercy of anyone who wants to makes outrageous claims.
Here are some observations:
1 The two most common by-products of phenomenal success are arrogance and complacency.
2 The competition is anyone that your customer compares you with. We may give good service for a semiconductor company but we pale in comparison to Les Swab Tires.
3 We are in a business where our customers will be buying new stuff every new design cycle. It is better that we do what’s best for the customer than to let a competitor show them how.
4 Customers are best heard from many ears. As an old servo designer I know that negative feedback is needed for a stable solution. Multiple feedback paths are needed for optimal performance.
5 Problems are best solved immediately at first contact, at the lowest possible rung of the company ladder.
6 Fix the problem first. You can fix the blame latter.
7 If you screw up, apologize to the customer. It is surprising how forgiving they will be if you do so immediately.
8 Engineers are a transitory bunch. The mistreated customer from a small company may go to work for a big company. Little companies may become big companies and many remember their friends…… and enemies.
9 Your products strengths and weaknesses will be obvious after a few customer visits. So go visit them.
10 If you are not working with the customers, your salary is being paid by someone who is.