My father has been running his own retailing business for over 20 years and today I had the privilege to overhear a phone call made by him to one of his wholesalers. The reason for this phone call was that he had not received an order in time.
Usually he wouldn't argue as it's quite common for deliveries to be a few days late but this was a delivery that he was dependent upon because his customers had been promised to receive their products today. My father had also been promised by the wholesaler to receive this delivery today, yet it didn't come.
So he called the company and to make a long story short, the reply he got from the support personnel was 'can you do a better job yourself?'. A reply like this is for obvious reasons unacceptable, thus my father asked to speak with her manager. When she didn't comply, he made the call himself and was finally talking to the owner of the company.
Unfortunately, the boss himself wasn't too supportive either and told my father, who was very calm and polite the whole time, that he had the option to buy his products from someone else. All my father, the customer, wanted was an apology and a verbal guarantee that it wouldn't happen again. All he got was hostility.
This is a very good example of business management gone bad, both ethically and from a business and marketing viewpoint. This might have been less unacceptable twenty years ago or more because in those days, marketing was most of all focused on sales. Sales was king but today a new ruler has taken it's place.
The new emperor of marketing and business management is called consumer relationship. Times have changed and modern day marketers have come to realize the importance of developing and maintaining long term relationships with their customers.
It was a long time ago that business was focused mainly on selling. There are many factors that are all contributing to the overall success of the company in question and one of those factors is public relationship which was overlooked in this case, resulting in severe damage. It's time to move past the old mentality and open our arms to the new way of doing business.
Business is getting increasingly competitive and you need to sharpen your edge to survive in the marketplace. Marketing is not equal to advertising. To achieve the best results, both marketing and business management should be seen and handled as processes in which we strive for development.
No matter what business you're running or what industry you're in, you have to understand that long term success depends on your ability to build long term relationships with your customers. It's vital.