Creating a Deep Commitment to Delighting Customers

By John Hunter, author of Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability.

Those organizations that can delight customers today and take the steps today that position the organization to delight customers in the future will prosper and grow. But building and maintaining a management culture that reinforces delighting customers and long term thinking is quite difficult.

I have trouble finding businesses that are focused on delighting customers. It is easy to understand the results I see from the businesses I interact with coming from a company with a short term focus on spreadsheets, without respect for customers or employees and without an appreciation for the organization as a system.

There are many reasons I support and wish to see the wider adoption of Deming’s ideas. And one of those is purely the purely selfish desire of wishing to cast aside the businesses that I must deal with that don’t succeed (or even try) to delight customers.

If I can just do business with an alternate company that is fine with me. Unfortunately companies that reliably delight customers are so rare that often I can find no alternatives for a given need that I have.

My life would be better if I could replace companies that force me to put up with the results of their poor management system with companies practicing Deming’s ideas. For that reason, and others, I hope that those that have been following this blog over the years are successful in transforming their organizations to adopt the management practices Deming promoted.

quote image - text: New product and new types of service are generated, not by asking the consumer, but by knowledge, imagination, innovation, risk, trial and error on the part of the producer, backed by enough capital to develop the product or service and to stay in business during the lean months of introduction.

Successfully delighting customers requires much more than a wish that customers were delighted with our organization. It requires knowing what your customers want and creating system that can reliably delivering that to customers. It requires insight into the changing marketplace and evolving customer needs so that you can create what will be desired in the future. It requires creating an organization that people who are committed to delighting customers want to work for. It requires a sustainable business plan that is robust and able to succeed over the long term. It requires a management system designed to allow those interacting with customers to delight them. It requires knowing how to use data to continually improve (which requires an understanding of variation).

The best method to meeting these, and other, requirements for building a successful organization that is focused on delighting customers, is to learn the ideas and practices W. Edwards Deming promoted and to learn from those continuing to work on applying and extending those ideas. The W. Edwards Deming Institute aims to help those interested in doing so with this blog, our conferences and seminars (including making conference presentations available online), our podcasts, our quotes web site, articles by Dr. Deming available online and in other ways.

Related: What Business are We In?Jobs to be DoneProduct and Service Innovation is Driven by Customer Focused OrganizationsUser Gemba

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