The dictionary describes an asset as a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality. The business dictionary goes ahead to further qualify this as “something valuable that an entity owns, benefits from, or has use of, in generating income. It proceeds to enumerate the definition in accounting terms as “something that an entity has acquired or purchased, and that has money value; and that assets shown on the business balance sheet, are usually classified according to the ease with which they can be converted into cash.”
With this definition, the customer then takes on the shape and form of quite a valuable asset that fits squarely into the description. Indeed: customers are useful and valuable, without whom the business ceases to exist, and the business vision for which it was created ceases to have a foothold; organizations most definitely benefit from and have such valuable ‘use of’ customers that form the foundation of their operations; and customers are income generating entities, from where the revenue to drive the business comes from including planned innovations, strategy activities and expansion initiatives.
Many things have been said about the customer including the age old catch phrases that – the customer is always right, the customer is king and in some places the customer should always come first. Whereas all these have served over time, and oftentimes have their validity debated in the context of the current customer experience environment. The original intention however, is what should be valued, where the originators intended for focus on the customer to given the deserved attention.
Where the world has moved now and the new emphasis on getting customer experience into the boardroom to ensure discussions on customer acquisition, satisfaction, retention and loyalty; is to describe the customer in the right way, using the right format, with the right terms that fit into the right placement in business discussion. And with that in mind – The Customer is Your Asset!
With this mind frame, it is expected that there will be a positive attitude shift towards customers within the entire organization. Organizations rank assets very high in their priority lists. Assets are precious items that must be well taken care of, well guarded, well looked after and well protected. The same must be said and done of our customers.
They must be center of our focus and handled in pretty much the same way that assets are. Company assets are entered into the company books of accounts and are listed as very important items when computing the value of the company. The same must be done of customers, up to and including computing the value of the customer base and assessing the company’s overall standing.
The moment customers are viewed as assets and accorded the same due respect, then the current challenging need to crank up the efforts to have customer experience as an important leadership agenda will ease. It will be automatic. Assets are beautiful things, valued things, precious things, treasured and appreciated things. And so the customer should be and must be.
The call to action for every entrepreneur, every business person, every organization and brand is to rework the thinking and the script, to most definitely read “The Customer is An Asset”