Fundamental Behavior 8 – Make customers a priority
I have been with the company for 11 years and it never ceases to amaze me that YKK’s philosophy applies not only to our jobs but also to our lives. From the Core Values to the Fundamental Behaviors, I have learned that they are a good foundation to make a difference in this world. You can’t be fulfilled at work if you are not fulfilled in your life. And even though each one of these values complement each other, today is the turn of Behavior #8 “Make customers a priority.”
I want to focus on our internal customers because if we fail to satisfy our internal customers, we probably won’t be able to satisfy our external customers, or at least this will cause us many delays and quality issues.
When I started at YKK, one of my great challenges was to learn the names of all the personnel because when you make a request to a person, you will hardly get any engagement without at least knowing their name. When you address someone by name, the person realizes that they are more than just a number; you show them that to you they are a person who deserves respect and attention.
Nowadays, I consider every person who approaches me to be my customer, and therefore I want to listen carefully and try to understand their perspective. Even though I can’t always meet their expectations, I always make sure that at least they know that they were heard and that there was genuine care from my part.
How can we demonstrate that our customers are a priority? Internally we can demonstrate it with something as simple as giving some kind of response, even if we have not yet completed the request, or by filling out a record that helps keep control in another process, including delivering the document in a timely manner.
The reason a customer leaves us is not always because our product is more expensive or because it is not of good quality, although both are very important. The most important reason is the way we treat them. Although our internal customer is attached to us, we should prove to them all the time that they are important because at the end of the day, the satisfaction of our external customers is a reflection of the relationship we have with our internal customers.
I invite you to identify your internal customers and to treat them the way that you would like to be treated. I am sure that this will make a difference and you will make them feel that they are a priority to you.
Sr. Manager – Manufacturing Operations
YKK Snap Fasteners Manufactura Mexico S.A. de C.V.