What would happen if your executives had to buy gifts for some customers? Would it be a disaster in the making?

How to know if you are out of touch with your customers. Can your company’s executives pass this 5-step test? Get 6 executives (preferably high up mucky-mucks.)

  1. Find 3 regular customers who use your store.
  2. Pair 2 executives with 1 customer.
  3. You can even let those executive interview the customers for 30 minutes.
  4. Then the 2 executives go online or in store, pick out, purchase and give a gift to the customer they talked to.
  5. Then have the customer speak about the gift, if it was an appropriate choice, if they liked it, what they liked about it, what it means to them, etc.

Impacts from this test:

  • To check what the execs know (and didn’t know, and learned) their customers.
  • To see the executives figure out ways (the questions to ask is just one limited way to learn their customer likes/dislikes/interests) to learn customers wants, needs, interests, desires, and aspirations.

 Now, if you delight in imagining subjecting your execs to this sadistic exercise, hold on a minute.  Before you sick the “real customer” hounds on your executives, you better do this yourself first. Drink your own soup. WARNING: HOT SOUP!

Based on an idea I heard from Karen Holtman  who attended EPIC09 in Chicago and revealed this plus lots of other idea nuggets on how to be a “guide to” instead of an “expert on” your company’s customers.

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