Opinion and Editorial

Why customer is king

Hamad Obaid AL Mansoori
Filed on November 16, 2020

(Anastasiya Zolotnitskaya / Alamy Stock Photo)

The real separation will remain between institutions that are struggling for survival and others competing for leadership.

The success story of Walmart began with its foundation by Sam Walton in 1962. The company employed thousands of workers including managers and heads of divisions under Walton’s leadership. Yet, when he was asked who the most important person was at Walmart, he answered without hesitation that there was only one president in his company, and that was the customer.

Walton believed that the customer was the one who decided the fate of employees; from the chairman of the board to the office boy. If the customer decides to spend his money elsewhere, the employees will have no place in the company.

Today, in the world of digital commerce, many concepts of trading have changed, and unprecedented tools and channels have been introduced. However, the essence of competition has remained the same. It is a race to win the customer’s heart. This race has gradually intensified until it has become a fierce war. According to a report in Forbes magazine, a fierce war is being waged in the digital commerce space. Large companies ‘swallow’ small enterprises through acquisition, and small companies come together to protect themselves against the big ones. Everyone manoeuvers, thinks, and creates ways to win, with everyone’s eyes focused on the customer.

In this race, surprising turns take place, but in reality they are the results of unseen tireless efforts. For example, in May 2020, Facebook announced the launch of ‘shops’, a digital commerce service, after more than 15 years of being merely a social platform to connect people. Just days ago, an alliance was announced between the Chinese Tiktok, a video-sharing social networking service and Shopify, the Canadian digital commerce platform, with the aim of enabling merchants to display their goods through TikTok, and enabling customers to buy what they watch and like in those films.

Professor Philip Kotler from Kellogg School of Management had famously said, “Customer is king”. This phrase constitutes an important pillar not only for business sector, but for government as well, and is a direct translation of the concept of customer centricity.

The concept of “customer centricity” is a compass for all institutions. However, do digital government services implement this concept? The answer to this question is left to whom it may concern.

The real separation will remain between institutions that are struggling for survival and others competing for leadership. The first strives to work, and the second combines work with creative thinking and innovation, and these, of course, are the most capable of satisfying the ‘king’.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori is the Head of Digital Government and Director General, TRA

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