Looking at the glass half full

During this economic downturn, you hear lots of negative commentary.  And it's certainly not without reason.  Perhaps it's just my nature to look at the bright side, but I do see some rays of sunshine arising from the darkness.

I just heard a story on the news this morning focusing on how companies, out of necessity, are pulling out all the stops when it comes to holding on to their customers.  While common logic says this should have always been a top priority, it is only now that companies are truly understanding the value of their customer relationships. 

It used to be, when spending was rampant and companies were more profitable, that the voice of the customer was a faint noise in the distance.  But the tide has turned, and now customers are wielding the lion's share of the power in a transaction.  And they know it. 

In our business, we consistently hear that customers want more than a product or service from their supplier.  They want them to really get to know them; to understand their business; to understand their challenges; and to come up with the right solutions.  Gone are the days of, "Here's what we have to offer.  Take it or leave it."

But this is all a very good thing, and I'm not convinced that without this economic freefall, we would be where we are when it comes to solidifying profitable customer relationships.  And hopefully memories will not be short, and when we return to the land of abundance and prosperity, companies will continue to remember the value of their customers.

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