Is The Customer Always Right Or Are Employees King?
The answer is both. And neither. What we mean is there's a nice, cozy middle ground. The people in your business are the most important resources you have as a business owner. This includes your employees, customers, vendors, community leaders, and support system. Sometimes, it can feel like a juggling act just keeping everyone happy.
How does Kapeesh recommend doing it? Make sure everyone understands their role in your success, or in your business' family.
Employees Aren't Scapegoats, Stepping Stones, or Door Mats Bosses, supervisors, or business owners can come across as disappointed parents when talking to employees about customer service and how it needs improvement. There's usually a lot of "you need to do this" or "stop doing that." The key to getting employees to actually care about the customer experience is by helping them understand how it affects their job and the success of the company. Employees have decided to spend their working hours boosting YOUR brand and YOUR message each day, not the competitor's. When employees have a solid understanding of how a happy customer can mean bigger paychecks, company perks, time off, public accolades, or other incentives, they tend to enjoy their work and maintain a purpose-driven attitude.
Customers Should Know They're #1 And Understand Why Customers and clients are the top priority. Any business owner can tell you that, whether or not they "practice what they preach." There are many ways to ensure the customer understands he/she is important and appreciated, but do they understand WHY they are appreciated? Is Ms. Brown important to the business because she yells at the counter person every time she comes in, or is it because your company has been serving her and her family for over 15 years? It's easy for even some of the best customers to get into the habit of nagging, complaining, or being relatively unpleasant when they're conditioned by other businesses to act this way in order to be noticed or recognized at all. I know I sometimes put myself in a bad mood just waiting on hold for that next customer service representative. Don't simply reward this behavior by hurriedly giving them what they want and "shoo-ing" them off. Take time to pause and personally let these customers know that they're appreciated. The personal message can work to win those tougher customers over and mold them into positive, loyal ones.
Vendors Are People Too! Whether it's a wholesale grocer, a printing company, an office supply distributor, or a human resource consultant that pops into your business to check-in every so often, take time to speak with and appreciate these people. Your employees, customers, and management team should all understand the importance of these players. While it's easy to get into the mentality that the vendors are "invisibile" helpers, they truly are so much more. Good relationships with these resources and businesses can open doors for you and your business in the future. Don't let opportunities pass you by because of a simple oversight.
Without Those Supporters, We All Fall Down People in the community, cheerleaders in our own families... THANK YOU. That is all. Business owners easily get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle, but if we were given a second away from our desks and storefronts, I'm sure I speak for us all when I say "YOU ARE SO APPRECIATED."
So, business owners, take time to make sure all of your important players understand the roles they play. Employees, customers, vendors, and supporters... they're all irreplaceable and equally appreciated.
I live and breathe small business marketing. Ask me about social media or digital reputation management over lunch, and we'll be there until dinner. Aside from consulting and educating business owners, my passions are martial arts, cooking, office supply collecting, and volunteering. Outside of my own community, I serve as Marketing Director for the 03XX Foundation - an organization serving Marine Corps Infantrymen and Corpsmen.