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Business Times Column

by Marcus

Does Your Business Give People A Good Feeling?

With every transaction and interaction, a business gives its customers, and the team members who serve them, a good, neutral or bad feeling. The last two have no place in a thriving company, while the first is a necessary component to success.

Surely, you can recall those experiences as a consumer that left you with a good, if not a great, feeling. The value you received at these times endeared you to these companies, creating loyalty and repeat business. The money and time you spent was well worth it, and you walked away with a positive feeling.

Conversely, and likely more often, you’ve also engaged businesses that left you wishing you had never walked through their doors. In most cases, this may have been due to the poor customer service you received, or bad and uncaring attitudes. Even if your experience was a neutral one – not bad, but not great either – the trust and loyalty that is so vital for customers to have was not nurtured in you.

As a business owner, can you really afford the negative impact on your customers, and therefore your bottom line, from the lack of a positive experience?  I suggest that the answer is a resounding “No!” Whether in a strong or a challenging economic environment, every customer counts, and the unhappy ones tend to have a far greater impact on your business success.

So where does the quality of the experience your customers receive start? That’s right, at the top, with you – the business owner. You are the leader of your company. This means that all of your team members take their cues for behavior and performance directly from you. Your attitude sets the pace.

When the owner of a business truly cares about people, they will endeavor to provide them – both team members and customers alike – with the best experience possible. These leaders understand that when their team has a good feeling about the company they work for, they will impart those same good feelings to the customer through a positive attitude and exceptional service. They know their staff will follow their lead and strive to give each and every customer a great experience.

The wise business owner, the one who is a “leader” and not a “boss”, hires people with not only a good skill set, but also a positive attitude. In addition, these leaders create and work to maintain an uplifting and happy work environment that fosters the positive attitudes of their fellow team members. By doing so, each person is engaged in their work and part of an uplifting team that, together, consistently delivers positive experiences to each and every customer.

In return for receiving a good feeling from your business, the customers you serve will be fiercely loyal to your brand. They will refer potential new customers and may even assist in negating any bad-mouthing you may be experiencing. All of this leads back to and affects the bottom-line of your business. The end result will be more sales and a feeling of accomplishment in providing a consistent high quality experience.

Without a doubt, and no matter what you do, there will always be those team members who prove to be unable to maintain a positive and caring attitude. In these cases, your best choice is to let them go. A negative team member will be like a cancer within your organization, damaging the moral of your people, diminishing customer relations, and ultimately hurting your business.

You will also encounter customers that are never satisfied no matter how well you serve them. They will always find something to complain about and some reason to bring negativity into your business. Toxic customers, just like negative and uncaring team members, must be let go of. Otherwise, you risk contaminating the positive experience your company provides.

In the end, most customers and team members have attitudes that contribute to a positive two-way experience. When you hire people with great attitudes, then supply them with training, support and a positive work environment, you have set the stage for exceptional customer service – the kind that leaves customers feeling great.

Give yourself and your business the gift of an honest self-appraisal. If you find that your leadership style, current team, work environment and your customer service could benefit from the support of a qualified coaching professional, then take that next step. The success of your company and the happiness of everyone involved, is quite literally, on the line.

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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.

Access the article here.