When your great-grandparents and grandparents grew up, they did so in a world and atmosphere where relationships mattered. A firm handshake sometimes was all that was needed to secure a transaction. They grew up in a climate where good deeds were right around the corner and someone was always willing to help you change a tire. Unfortunately in today’s economy, corporations and larger business have sought after profits so much so that they have nearly terminated all the aspects that made a business great, by neighborhood standards. The idea of “doing good deeds” and has translated to “will I make money from it”. I’m a business entrepreneur myself and realize that the bottom line is what counts at the end of the day. That doesn’t mean that you should skip corners in customer service and brand sincerity to get there.
Today, people have the world at their fingertips – Literally. With a simple click, swipe, and tap of any mobile device, we can find out who won the Gold Medal in the recent Olympics, the square root of 6,005 divided by 2, or even see pictures of galaxies far away. This is a powerful and advanced society we live in yes, but let’s look from a business standpoint. When my grandparents were growing up, the Internet wasn’t around. The only way to let a business know if they were unsatisfied was to go to the store directly and speak to someone. That’s why stores took such care in providing not only a good product, but also a great relationship to go along with it. Fast-forward 120 years and we are introduced to world branded companies and large corporations that run the map. Some would say that their attitude towards customer care went out the window in order to boost profits and cut corners. These companies felt this shift a little differently thanks to social media and the ever-growing dominance of the Internet. Customers now have a voice that at the drop of a hat can be heard worldwide in a matter of seconds. This is powerful information that made larger companies begin to rethink their “boost profit” mentality.
This is where you come in. If you are a business owner, like myself, you’ve learned that 25 percent of your business is the product you sell, and the other 75 percent is how you run it (management, customer care, fixing problems, etc). You live in a time now that your customer’s opinion truly matters. It’s a time where developing a “welding job bond” is crucial to your success or failure. You have to truly care about what it is you’re doing. How can you expect others to care and speak praises about your products and service if you don’t care first? A happy, satisfied customer can be your biggest advocate, while adversely, your unhappy one could likely bury you in the dirt. If we are going to get you where you need to be for complete customer satisfaction, let’s look at some ways to make the vision more precise.
• It All Starts with You – As the boss or leader of your business, identify what it is you want to promote. There’s no need to have loopy feng shui if your objective is to be a strong firm of lawyers. The best leaders won’t waste their time, energy, or finances to be something that they aren’t. Attempts to do so will be detrimental to their cause. Be authentic, because in this social media influenced world, people will spot the bad apples instantly. Good news travels fast, but bad news travels at light speed. Set a tone for your business and see it through, only adjusting slightly along the way.
• Heart vs. Statistics – It’s all about connections, not contacts. In the relationship world, you want a best friend, not an acquaintance. Your customers will realize very quickly if you are using social media and other avenues to truly connect with them, or to simply drive them to your products. Your business should have an “emotion core” that people gravitate towards and eventually come to love. To put it simply, remember these two phrases – “Garden daily” and “Don’t allow fire to spread.” The sooner these quotes go into your daily logbook, the better off you will be. Trust me!
• Distance Running Builds a Strong Heart – Saying “Thank You” never hurt anybody. It’s a first and strong step towards having a repeat customer as well. Whether said through the web or at your very place of business, these two words help you not only in the sprint, but in the overall race as well. Having a mentality to satisfy customers for years to come helps to rid the thoughts of “I want to get customers quickly.” It should always be a goal to gain followers, but take the extra step to make sure they come back rather than being a statistic in your expense reports.
No longer do you have the excuse of “they are more successful because they are bigger.” You now have the power of care on your side. So what if someone has a cheaper product – love and care for your customers more than they do. Oh, you say that because a celebrity is wearing their clothing, you can’t compete? Love, care, and thank them more. Maybe they have a corner office and the money to buy support – Love and care for your customers more than they do! It’s a very simple concept that is sometimes lost in translation; when you truly care for others, they will truly care for you. So next time someone hops on the internet and sings your praises, make sure to say “Thank You” and that you couldn’t do it without them. #Business101