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34 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2018 Hanging on the wall in my office is this quote from Jeff Bezos: "We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better." For this column, following the theme of "Who is my customer?", I am going to use this quote to explain my thoughts on how we define who our customers are and how we interact with our customers. I am sure the people that know me well and have attended one of our Geek-A-Palooza events are shaking their heads and thinking, "Of course she is going to talk about a party!" Invited Guests Isn't it inter- esting to think of our customers as invited guests? As someone in PCB sales, I have a quick answer to the question "Who is my cus- tomer?" My reply is anyone who is using print- ed circuit boards. From there it is traditional to break that down by industry sector, or company size, or technology. Once that scope is narrowed down, marketing and sales craft their message to best reach those defined segments. Sales people identify a list of target companies, find prospects at those companies, and work hard to differentiate their technology or services to purchasers of printed circuit boards. But what if "who is my customer?" was bro- ken down using the criteria/framework of in- vited guest? Wouldn't this change the tradi- tional model of salesperson trying to win over the prospect to one of two people, or two com- panies, working together in a mutually bene- ficial relationship? While we are ruminating over this, lets expand the definition of custom- er to people that can influence the custom- er's decisions and expand our guest list and invite them to the party also. When you plan an event, whom do you invite? Peo- ple whom you e n j o y b e i n g around, people whom you trust, people whom you respect? And in our industry, isn't that who you would want to buy from and sell to? I can - not think of one customer whom I w o u l d n o t "invite to the party." I don't know if it has been a conscious or subconscious effort, but my customers are people I truly enjoy working with. There is mutual respect and trust between us. Working with custom products that often push the limits of technology, we are always going to have difficulties and issues that come up, but working with people whom you like, Invited Guests to the Party Flex Talk Feature Column by Tara Dunn, OMNI PCB

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