YKK Stories

2020-02-24 Issue 135 – Fundamental Behavior 8 – Make customers a priority

February 24, 2020
Author: YKK
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Make customers a priority



Who is the customer? A customer is an individual or business that purchases another company’s goods or services. Most public-facing businesses compete with other companies to attract customers, either by aggressively advertising their products or by lowering prices to expand their customer bases.

My personal definition of a customer is when you hand it to the next process. For example, from YKK customer to customer service, customer service to manufacturing, manufacturing to distribution, distribution to freight company, freight company to YKK customer, then to their customer. I say this because we are all customers when something is handed down to you. Let’s make sure we communicate and service our customers to the best of our ability through all the processes.

After 40 years in this business, I could tell you a million stories about success and failure.  But the key to this is to learn from your failures.  YKK’s Cycle of Goodness and our Core Value, “Don’t fear failure,” teach us that we should find ways to conquer our obstacles, to achieve success, and never give up.

Here is a quick story on never giving up. When we started in the automotive market, one of the first customers we targeted was Autoliv, who makes airbags for vehicles. Due to the cost of testing and switching suppliers, it took 3 years of non-stop communication before we would ever see an order. This was a case of building a relationship, trust, and good communications. They have now been a customer for 9 years.

The bottom line is to communicate with good or bad news to your customers and they will respect you and have great trust in you.


Larry Thompson
Vice President of Sales
Tape Craft Corporation