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 an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/brucetemkin

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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