I was staggered by an article I read last week concerning Gordon Ramsey and his business empire. In it he stated that restaurants had generally forgotten that the ‘customer is king’ and took the people who paid for granted. And what did the customers do? They walked away in droves. He said it was endemic of restaurants in general and not just within his empire.
It is not just in restaurants it is happening, retail is suffering too from trying to tell the public what it wants rather than listening. M&S is a prime example of this. On Saturday I went to return a pair of trousers I had bought for my husband from its separate menswear store in Kingston. However, I was told that I could no longer return goods to that store but had to cross the road to the larger store and go to customer services on the 2nd floor to obtain a refund. Then they had to get the items of clothing back across the road to the departments they came from. The woman on customer services said she had complaints every day about this system. Who could have thought it was a good idea?
Just imagine if PR agencies, and other providers of services, decided to just do their own thing with no reference to the requirements and satisfaction of the client. The client says it wants to appear in Electronics Weekly but the agency decides to ignore that and offer an article to Farmers’ Weekly instead. Whilst we would always advise a client on the best publication to place an article it is up to us to ensure that we do our best to satisfy the clients’ requirements or we too would be in trouble.
Ramsey added that he used his own money to rescue his company – and where did that money come from? His media earnings were only built on the back of his reputation as a chef. And how did he get that reputation… from his customers.
Time to remember that ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’.