Can’t get customer satisfaction?

A few years ago, I went to the funeral of a close friend of the family. In his eulogy, one of the sons of the deceased praised his father: The man always sought to give his best. In business that meant offering a quality service.

Quality service! A simple phrase, often thrown out blandly. But in the setting of a berievement and self-inspection, it was very penetrating.

Last week, I was directed to a video click put out on utube by Domino’s Pizza, and fronted by their CEO. You find 2 messages in the four-minute roll. First, they admit that they have been feeding customers tasteless rubbish. Painful, but they admitted it, in public. Second, look out because Domino’s is about to change, big time.

Was this a lesson in internal conglomerate decision-making? Yes, but it was also a clever bit of marketing. The company is visibly determined to serve up (literally) a good product.

So what? Well competition is always strong in the pizza market. Even amongst Israel’s 7.5 million holy people, most of the international chains are present. In fact, Domino’s has to try even harder, as most of its stores do not meet the kosher eating requirements and there is a similar named firm. So the American brand needs to stand out well and good.

Stefan Stern recently wrote about SAS, an American software concern. Fortune magazine described SAS as the best company to work for in 2010. The trick to success is “benign management”. The result?

The 34 year old company had revenues of $2.3bn in 2008, and remains a leading player in the “business intelligence” market.

Simple, isn’t it? No. My wife told me about her troubles with a financial computing package, possibly in the same field as SAS. The upgrade for 2010 came with a built-in bug. The supplier is not telling its customers, as they all blindly pay for the new version. 3 weeks into the new year, there is no immediate solution in site.

It is not just the problem. Nor even the overtime. My wife was played for a fool and that leave’s a lousy, long-lingering taste.

Do you think that she will be looking to buy any add-on products from this global provider of software? Send your answer to their CEO at………..

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