Keep Your Eyes on Your Customers…

Their evolution, that is. I recently re-read an article from the August 18 issue of Business Week. In an article titled “Target vs. Wal-Mart: The Next Phase,” the economy’s impact on discount superstores is discussed. The gist is this: Wal-Mart has started to attract the more upscale (read: Target) consumer because of the economy. Even those with higher disposable incomes are tightening belts. And, because upscale consumers, on average, spend more time—and money—in stores, Wal-Mart is capitalizing on this trend. According to the article, “Consumers may have traded down to Wal-Mart for its low prices, but the chain hopes to hold onto these customers through improvements in their stores.” These improvements include enhanced store layouts and expanded electronics sections. They are keeping an eye on the changing profile of their consumer—and responding to better serve that person.

Here at Optimal, we are doing something similar. As we grow, we are attracting interest from companies with more than 100 employees. These organizations usually have an internal IT staff, but are lacking the strategic technological direction that a Chief Information Officer (CIO) can provide. In this economy, however, corporations don’t have the money to hire a full-time, in-house CIO. We noticed this trend in our evolving client base and responded with a service offering to meet this need.

The lesson? Great service is about being flexible. As your consumer base changes, so, too, must your service offerings and/or mechanisms.

I want to hear from you! Respond to one, all, or none of the questions below. I just want to hear your thoughts! And, if you post a response, be sure to check back for a reply!

  • Do you agree? Do you think great service is about being flexible?
  • How might a flexible service stance be misconstrued without proper consumer research? Example?
  • Which companies do a very good job of monitoring their consumer base and responding to changes through service? Which do it poorly?

Post your response!