YKK Stories

Fundamental Behavior 8 – Make Customers a Priority

February 19, 2021
Author: YKK
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Make Customers a Priority

How do we make our customers our priority? It’s so easy to do and say yet so many companies fail at it every day; we all have experienced it in our daily lives.

It was such an honor when I was asked if I would like to give my perspective on one of our weekly Fundamental Behaviors this year. My family and I have been blessed to have been able to work at and be associated with YKK AP America for over 27 years and equally blessed to have had some truly great role models and mentors during that time to guide me. I will never forget one of the first things my first manager, Mr. Yuichi Toyoshima, taught me about was our founder’s philosophy of the “Cycle of Goodness.” I remember thinking as he explained it to me, how impressed I was that Mr. Yoshida placed so much emphasis on our customers and everyone involved with our business, but it all started with ensuring our customers’ success.

Today, as I think what the “Cycle of Goodness” means to me, I believe it starts with providing something of great benefit to our customers – Something so beneficial that the customer chooses our company over all the other companies they could choose. And I would emphasize the word “chooses.” Our customers don’t have to be with us, they CHOOSE to.

That choice benefits not only our customers but their customers and all the people that interact with our products on a daily basis from that point forward. It creates jobs and drives innovation in all the companies upstream from us that help provide services or products through our supply chain. We are able to contribute to our local communities where we operate to help our communities grow and prosper as well. So much benefit to so many, but this only happens if our customer chooses our company over all the others they could choose. It all starts with our customer trusting that YKK can guarantee their success.

This is why I believe that at the core of the “Cycle of Goodness” is making our customer a priority. That is what can separate our company from the rest, but only if we live it in our actions and deeds every day and we’re not just saying it.

Our customers place so much of their personal trust, their professional reputation and their financial health into our hands when they choose YKK and our associates to work with. We can only show genuine appreciation for that trust when we intrinsically go above and beyond, making them our top priority and ensuring they made the right decision by believing in us.

Roger Staubach, the Hall-of-Fame football player and former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys once said, “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”

Don Garrett
Procurement Manager – Operational Excellence Group
YKK AP America