Neiman Marcus is 100 years old today. Quite an accomplishment by anyone’s measure. In honor of this milestone, Retail Strategies quotes, today, former Neiman Marcus Chairman Stanley Marcus, who urged retailers to “Think like a customer,” in a column he wrote for The Dallas Morning News.
Good advice then and now, it went — in part — like this:
“. . . . In a free economy, in which customers are free to exercise a choice in their purchases, superior service provides the competitive advantage that is needed when qualities are comparable.”
It is impossible, Marcus wrote, to create a service-oriented business unless the boss learns to think like a customer.
“Once he does,” Marcus continued, “everything has a tendency to fall into place, and customers rush to join the chorus of praise for a farsighted management.
“Little things often give us the signs of good management. For example, taxi cab companies that have good dispatchers and who make an effort to understand the caller, stores that carry your packages to your car. . . .
“These are not tricks, but are devices that prove the management’s determination not only to think like a customer, but to act like one also. The most important indicator is that they care about you. All of us appreciate care.”
The Viewpoints of Stanley Marcus: A Ten-Year Perspective was published in 1995 by the University of North Texas Press, Denton, Texas.