Importance of Customer Orientation for Career Success

People in the professions like film direction, music direction, politics and even new consumer product developers succeed based on their connect with people wants. In all the above areas, people are willing to pay an amount or give a vote to whoever connects with their needs. Even a successful person, who imposes their wishes on others fail if they are disconnected from the wants of the customers. A film will flop if it is not to the taste of the public. Even A.R. Rahman first version of commonwealth music ‘Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto’ was a flop. This was just after him winning the Oscar for the best music.

The essence of success

Success comes not from just having great skill but putting it to use as needed by the audience. All cricketers selected to play for India have great skill. But only those who play to the needs of the team are famous or successful. Others have talent to do batting or bowling, but they are not able to play to the needs of the audience, i.e to win the match. Technically, even those who fail to live up to audience expectations have decent skills.

This understanding and prioritization of audience needs is the essence of success. Many times people get greedy, since they can easily experience their desires. They tend to keep their needs ahead of their audience needs seeking to satisfy themselves instead of their audience. When the audience is disrespected, the person fails in career.

Most professionals confuse their needs with that of the customer. A cook should make what is desired and liked by the customer. If a cook likes some dish they cannot expect a customer to enjoy it even though they don’t like the dish. Here the personal need of the cook is channelizing the skills of the cook in the wrong direction and leading him to failure in the eyes of the customer. It is important for a professional not to confuse his needs as the needs of his clients or customer.

Customer orientation mind-set

Some talented people are cursed for not having ability to learn what their clients/customers want. So they always face failure because they just cannot meet the expectations of the customers as they don’t have ability to understand the customer.

There is another set of professionals who are gifted with both skill in their profession and also understand their audience, clients or customers. However, they have poor control on their desires. Their personal desires gives a poor deal to their target audience. Such professionals give more importance to their needs than the needs of audience. As such they repeatedly tend to give bad experience to their target audience despite being able to understand their customers. Though such professionals have awareness to the needs of target audience, their lack of self-control as their desires lead them to failure despite their awareness of the path to success.

There exist another set of professionals who neither have the talent nor the understanding of the customer. They will be condemned as all round failures in their career.

There also exists another set of people who have limited abilities but have good understanding of customer and have ability to work in the direction of success. Such people when they are in the right system that supports them are able to channelize their limited talent to get good success and appreciation from their customers. Such people are well sought after by good firms and successful professionals because they help and support serving more customers for better financial success to their firm. Such people make it viable to give decent salary to the professional with limited ability but right attitude.

Certain environmental influences can help or hurt the ability to build their skill. The ‘athithi devo bhava’ concept is a traditional concept that is very customer oriented. So is Chanakya’s Arthasashtra maxim for governance of the state by the king.

Praja sukhe sukham rajyaha prajanamcha hitehitam,
Natma priyyam hitam rajanaha prajanam cha hitam priyam.

This shloka translates to in the happiness of his public rests the king’s happiness, in their welfare his welfare. He shall not consider as good only that which pleases him but treat as beneficial to him whatever pleases his public.

The above concepts are focused on serving the other party. They also indirectly encourage innovation to satisfy the customer.
When people have philosophies involving focusing on own needs above everything else and seeking rigidity, centralization and imposition of views by depriving choices that destroy the ability to connect to audience, it becomes difficult for them to succeed in their life.

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