Deming on Management: Customer Focus

Guest post by John Hunter, founder of the

Our Deming on Management series provides resources for those interested in learning more about particular topics related to W. Edwards Deming’s ideas. View our previous Deming on Management posts, including: leadership, psychology and the PDSA cycle.

As I stated in Creating a Deep Commitment to Delighting Customers:

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.

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 is designed to allow those interacting with customers to delight them. It requires knowing how to use data to continually improve (which requires an understand of variation).

Creating such an organization is not easy but it is possible and the resources listed below can help.

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.

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