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Different Strokes for Different Folks
Feb 24, 2009

Within days of each other, I read with curiosity how companies are approaching customers during this economic downturn.  American Express has a interesting approach ; they are firing certain customers who don't matter that much to them Read Article . The difficulty with that approach is customers  have long memories and when times become better, American Express may regret  turning their backs on "undesirables" as they have classified them.

In Southern California, there is a very successful  supermarket chain S tater Bros. ,who  as a private company, are forgoing short term gains to invest in finding new customers. The thinking being,  that when the business environment improves, they will be better positioned long term with an expanded customer base.

Hertz understands the value of retaining customers in these turbulent times and reevaluated how they do what they do, as it relates to processing rental car returns in smaller cities. Rea d Article and Watch Video 

All of the mentioned approaches  can be implemented concurrently. However, regardless of the the path chosen (save American Express) what is truly important  is,  broadly, companies are refocusing on customers and beginning to emphasize their relationships with them. When troubles impact us the natural tendency  of returning to sound fundamentals and basics  always comes to the forefront.  Great service companies never fore-go their customers,  Those that did have suffered very serious consequences.


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"How You Do What You Do", by Bob Livingston

 
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