Perhaps you are familiar with the term “Create raving fans out of your customers.” It is absolutely true that this should be a primary aim of any business. After all, if your customers don’t like you, they most likely will not do business with you and they certainly won’t recommend you to others.
As a professional business development coach and consultant, I would suggest that the key ingredient to creating a raving customer base is to first create raving fans out of your team members. After all, they are the ones who interface with your customers on a daily basis and who deliver customer service. They also control the quality of the products and service you provide. If your team members don’t like you, your business is likely to suffer due to decreased customer satisfaction.
How do you, the business owner, go about creating raving fans out of your team members?
Let’s consider what people want:
- People want to feel important. They want to know that they matter. Creating this feeling in your team members is as easy as involving them in the decision making process. Ask for, listen to and really consider their input as you make decisions and implement changes. This does not mean that you will use or take action on everything they suggest, but it does mean that you think enough of them to get their perspective and implement their great ideas.
- People want to be liked and accepted. This is a basic human need. You treat the people you like very differently from those you don’t like. When you like someone you take interest in them, you build a relationship and you care about them. Team members who are treated this way have a real sense of loyalty and commitment to the business and the customers it serves.
- People want to feel valued and appreciated. Don’t you? When you treat team members like cogs in the wheel of your money machine they are not going to care about you, because they know you don’t care about them. In turn, they aren’t going to care about your customers, which often leads to customer dissatisfaction and the termination of their business with you. Praise your team members openly for a job well done. They aren’t going to be perfect, but if they give their best reward them with some recognition so they know they are valued and appreciated by you.
Consider this: The average person will work 104,000 hours of their waking life. This means that a significant portion of their life will be spent away from their family and close friends. It is important to create a work environment that functions as a second family, because that’s really what it is. In a strong and mutually beneficial family situation individuals are valued, cared for, supported, considered and encouraged. People in these types of family situations thrive, and the same is true of team members in a work environment.
When people are treated this way they return the favor. They are motivated, caring, loyal and willing to go the extra mile for the customer because you, the business owner, do the same for them. This is leadership by example. Turnover is reduced, efficiency and productivity rises, and sales are captured, not lost.
Happy team members create happy customers. Happy customers are repeat customers and a great source of referrals. Under this business model your business will grow its market share and generate higher revenues – you receive a greater ROI.
The bottom line is this: Customer loyalty starts at the top – with you the business owner. Who you are and how you treat people will be the ignition point for customer satisfaction, loyalty and overall business growth. As you begin to involve, value, care for, recognize and support your team members to a greater degree, the quality of your business rises right along with them.