Make the Right Choice. Choose Customers. Here’s How.

Marcia Bastos on October 27, 2016

This is the scene: I’m sitting in the middle seat of an airplane. I’m waiting for the flight attendants to close off their mandatory announcement, so I can pull out my laptop and finish the preparations I’m working on for the meeting I’m flying to. Why the rush? It’s a late flight and I want to make use of the Air Canada Entertainment system before fitting in some necessary sleep. But this flight announcement is taking longer than normal, so I leave my thoughts about movies on the backburner, and tune back in to what is being announced…

“Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Mobile Devices Are Not Permitted Onboard…”

I have a Samsung Alpha, I think. Thank goodness, I can keep my phone. More importantly though, I’m curious at this news. So, I pull out said Alpha and begin searching for some details - discretely - with the Wi-Fi connection available on the tarmac.

Of course, I had heard the latest buzz about the exploding & overheating phones, but the personal nature of this announcement - and the safety warning - makes me want answers.

What I discover from a quick search, and this article, is that Samsung seems to have gotten too aggressive in their development of their hottest new phone (no pun intended). In competition with Apple’s new iPhone, they pushed their vendors and timelines beyond standards.

The result? Horrible publicity, annoyed travelers, like me, and worse, a recall. This is said to have wiped “a total of $26 Billion from Samsung's value in the wake of the recall, which analysts say could cost the company up to $1 Billion” (telegraph).

Although this “mistake” seems far from us… How can we, as businesses, learn from this?

To start, we can take away the primary lesson here. Businesses who focus on competition and board members first, suffer.

Time and time again, we have heard that our CUSTOMERS are the heart of our business and should be at the heart of business decisions. This maxim could not have been more blatantly ignored in the case of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

Of course, Samsung did not want to threaten customers (I hope), or their sales for that matter, but they put their good intentions for what the customer needed on the back-burner. They pushed vendors to compete, and get an edge, and they lost.

Now, the games of business are complicated, and Samsung may very well redeem themselves - if they haven’t already, with some of their most loyal customers, but was it worth it? I don’t think so. One question remains: what changes can businesses make today, to avoid these potential flops?

I hope you choose to focus on the right choice. I hope you choose your customer. Contact us to learn how!