Words Of Wisdom: Peter Drucker On Customers

I often like to refer to the teachings of great business minds. In this case, I’ll point to a couple of quotes that have been attributed to the late management guru Peter Drucker

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.

He was a true genius!

These two quotes highlight the importance of truly understanding and serving the needs of your customers. There really isn’t anything that’s more important to a business. While most execs won’t argue with this point, Drucker probably recognized what I see every day: companies create so much bureaucracy and conflict that employees often lose site of what’s really important.

It reminds me of a story that I heard about a theme park (probably Disney, but I don’t remember exactly):

There was a staff member who was responsible for picking up trash. He was diligent in his work, but got irritated when people dropped trash in an area that he had just cleaned. One day his supervisor had to talk to him about his attitude. The supervisor asked him: What do you think your primary job is? The employee said: To keep the park clean. The smart supervisor responded: No, that’s not your primary job. Your primary job is to make sure that our guests have a good time during their visit. If they want to drop trash on the ground, then that’s okay.

We all need to have our perspectives recalibrated now and again.

What have you done to help your customers today?

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

2 thoughts on “Words Of Wisdom: Peter Drucker On Customers”

  1. HI Bruce,

    could you let me know, which publication your citation from Peter Drucker is from? I’d like to quote it 🙂

    Thanks in advance,

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