Adus Michael
Adus Michael
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How Do You and Your Business Really See Your Customer?

In a training session I had with employees of a leading fast food company, one of the participants, while sharing an experience he had with a customer, said “The customer does not even buy much.”

And that caught my attention. When I probed for details, he said, “This customer spends just ₦2,200, yet makes excessive demands.”

Here’s the rest of my conversation with the participant.

Me: So the customer spends ₦2,200 each time he comes.

Participant: Yes.

Me: How many times does he come in a week?

Participant: … 4 times on the average.

Me: So he spends ₦8,800 in a week. And in a year, how much?

Participant: ₦457,600 (i.e. ₦8,800 x 52 weeks).

Me: For how long has this customer been buying from your organization?

Participant: About 6 years.

Me: Okay. How long do you think he will still be buying from you (all things being equal)?

Participant: He likes most of our food… so may be another 5 years.

Me: So the total number of years of patronizing your company would be about 11. And through that period he would have paid your organization ₦5,033,600 (i.e. 11 x ₦457,600). Approximately ₦5 Million.

Participant: … yes [looking surprised].


Me: So, that customer is not a ₦2,200 customer but a ₦5 Million customer.

With a deep change in perception reflecting on his face, the participant said, “I never saw it that way.”

Like this participant before our conversation, many employees have a flawed perception of their customers.

They see their customers from the perspective of their single transaction, and as a result unconsciously categorize them and treat them so.

In the scenario above, the participant was seeing the customer as a ₦2,200 customer, which affected his attitude. Perhaps, that’s why, to him, the service demands made by the customer seemed “excessive.”

His attitude may have been different if he saw the customer as a ₦5 Million customer that he truly is. The ₦5 Million is termed the lifetime value of those customers.

The lifetime value of a customer is the total revenue the customer will bring to an organization across their entire relationship with the organization.

It’s from the perspective of their lifetime value that customers should be seen, not from the perspective of their single transaction.

When employees start seeing customers from the perspective of their lifetime value, their attitude to service changes significantly.

They start striving to provide better service knowing that the cost of poor service could be the loss of a ₦5 Million and not a ₦2,200; And that when they go the extra mile, and earn a referral, it will be another ₦5 Million and not a ‘mere’ ₦2,200.

Also, interestingly, however little your customers spend per transaction to buy your service or product, their lifetime value usually comes to an amount weighty enough to spur employees on.


It’s therefore important for employees to understand the concept of lifetime value of a customer, have an idea of what it is for each of their customers, and use it as a lens through which they view their customers.

This we can do for your company, redefine your goal based on your vision and mission statement of your business/organization. Reach out, we are here to make a great change for you, so you can can excel beyond your present income and way of doing business generally.

Because when your customers does not return, what your organization loses is not just the money for the next transaction but the total revenue those clients would have brought to your organization across their entire relationship with you. This is a huge loss, which is even more when you imagine this scenario for multiple customers.

All this starts when the services provided do not meet the customer’s expectations. And it’s primarily because many employees:

  • Do not understand what customers really want
  • Understand what customers want but do not know how to deliver it
  • Understand what customers want, know how to deliver it, but have bad attitude

This we can help you designed to address these issues. It will help employees understand, from first principles, what customers really want. It does not stop there. We can take it a step further to help you master how to deliver it to make customers satisfied.

But since it’s not enough to make customers just satisfied, we can take another step further to arm employees with the skills required to make customers highly satisfied so they return repeatedly.

What we offer, be it services or training, it goes beyond learning the niceties of front desk service to explore the concepts and culture of service excellence and how to translate them into every behavior and action that employees understand.

It is not designed just for those who have direct interaction with external customers but also for those who contribute in producing service outcomes.

It explores the lifetime value of a customer, the cost of poor service, value from the customer’s perspective, and all other concepts that help change the attitude of participants towards service.

Delivered in different formats, through services, and in houses highly valuable training which offers an optimal blend of all the key skills your employees must possess if you’re to stop the losses associated with substandard service, and build your business around the element that matters most – loyal customers.

Remember, we are here to help!

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