Chances are, you can recall some experiences as a consumer that left you with a good, if not a great, feeling. The value you received during these interactions endeared you to these companies, creating loyalty and repeat business.
- You were satisfied.
- Your money and time were well spent.
- You walked away happy.
You’ve also likely engaged with businesses that left you wishing you never walked through their doors. Perhaps it was an inferior product, poor customer service, or bad or uncaring attitudes. Even if your experience was neutral — neither bad nor good — no trust or loyalty was nurtured in you.
What business can afford the effects on its customers — and, in turn, its bottom line — from a less than positive experience? No matter the economic environment, customers matter. And unhappy ones tend to exert a far greater influence on your reputation and success.
With every interaction and transaction, a business conveys to its customers good, neutral, or bad feelings. The last two have no place in a thriving company. The first is essential for happiness and success.
Where does the quality of the experiences your customers receive start? If you answered at the top, with you, the business owner, then you’re correct. YOU lead your company. This means your team members take their cues directly from you. Your attitude and behaviors set the standard in your organization.
When business owners truly care about people, they endeavor to provide team members and customers alike with the best experiences possible. These leaders understand that when their teams feel good about the people and companies they work for, they impart those same good feelings to customers through positive attitudes and exceptional services. These leaders know their well-chosen and highly trained staff follow their lead and strive to give each and every customer a great experience.
The wisest business owners — those who lead rather than boss — hire people with good skills, but even more importantly, caring and positive attitudes. In addition, these leaders create and maintain uplifting and supportive work environments that foster the positive attitudes of their fellow team members. By doing so, engagement goes up and team members feel they’re part of a solid team that consistently delivers positive experiences to customers.
Along the road of business, you’ll encounter team members who prove unable or unwilling to maintain positive and caring attitudes. In these cases, your best choice is to let these bad apples go. Negative team members are like a cancer within any organization, damaging the morale of the team, diminishing customer relations, and ultimately hurting business.
You’ll also experience customers who 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. Like negative and uncaring team members, toxic customers must be let go. Otherwise, you risk contaminating the positive experiences your company provides and subjecting your team members to unjust treatment.
Give yourself and your business the gift of an honest self-appraisal. If you find your leadership style, team, work environment or customer services could benefit from the support of a qualified coaching professional, take that next step and invest in your excellence. The success of your company and the happiness of everyone involved is at stake.
In return for receiving a good feeling from your business, the customers you serve will become fiercely loyal to your brand. They’ll refer other customers and could even help mitigate any criticism you experience. All of this affects the bottom line of your business. This will result in more sales and a feeling of accomplishment in providing consistently high-quality experiences.
Most team members and customers have attitudes that contribute to positive experiences. When you hire people with great attitudes and provide training, support, and a positive work environment, you set the stage for exceptional customer service — the kind that leaves customers feeling great about your business.
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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper. Access the article here.