Scholar, Start Your Business—How to Love Your Customers and Employees

Scholar, Start Your Business—How to Love Your Customers and Employees

Ah, love!  Love feels best given, not received.  But when you love your customers and employees, it feels awesome for all—and makes you wealthy.

You know the revised golden rule, don’t you?  Treat others not as you want to be treated, but as they want to be treated.  Do so to grow wealthy—not just with dollars but with spirit.

But how do we do that?

Customers want you to be your ethical best.

Author Mariotti (2019) says, “Customers are more confident buying goods and services from an ethical company.  People don’t trust a company to offer high-quality goods and services if it has a reputation for cheating its employees or lying to customers” (26%).

Ethics matter.  I shopped at an unethical grocery store.  None of the items were priced, and when you approached the till, the clerk would call out an astronomical price.  If you balked, the clerk would sometimes halve the price, still making a profit.  Robbery!

Worse, the expiry date on items was sometimes five years ago.  Protein shakes I bought had long expired.  Fruits and veggies were beaten up at premium price.

So, what did I do?  I stopped shopping at that haunt.  Without love for your customers, your company might as well show your customers the door.  So these five traits will show your customers you’re love-struck:

“1.  Honesty: Be honest and transparent in all areas.  Inform customers about both the advantages and drawbacks of your product.  If you offer a service, describe your qualifications and abilities accurately” (Mariotti, 2019, 27%).

“2.  Respect: Take customer complaints seriously.  These are opportunities to improve your business.  Research shows that only one of every fifty unsatisfied customers complains to the merchant.  When you fix a situation that made one customer unhappy, you may be saving forty-nine other customers from the same frustration—and retaining them as customers” (Mariotti, 2019, 27%).

Customer service matters.  Recently, I phoned my bank to see if I could get a fabulous feature.  On the same day, two customer service reps called me back.  One said, “I can’t do it, but, sigh, I can check.” The other said, “Let’s see what we can do.” Neither got me what I requested, but my perception of them was worlds apart.  And, as a bonus, the upbeat lady referred me to another rep.  And, in the end, that rep granted me the fabulous feature.

I bet you’ve got a customer service star within you.  You hold the key to happiness.  It’s the key to your office door.

“3.  Accessibility: Keep to the business hours you advertise.  Be available when you promise to be” (Mariotti, 2019, 27%).

At a sandwich shop, I asked the owner what time the following day he’d be closing.  He said, “We will stay open until 4:30 for you.  Don’t worry.” The next day I arrived at 3:00, and he had already closed.  Nice guy, but he’d be nicer if he closed at the posted time.  If you put up a sign, your destined to commit.

“4.  Attention: Focus your attention on the customer with whom you are working at the moment.  Be present for that customer whether the sale is big or small.  Don’t be distracted by your cell phone!” (Mariotti, 2019, 27%).

Employees need love and treats—and ethical owners.

Author Mariotti says, “Employees feel discouraged and frustrated when their workplace is not ethical.  They are more likely to steal from the company, lie, and cheat” (26%).

One college I worked for was toxic.  An employee would walk by me and shout, “Run for the hills.  Leave this hellhole!” Other employees, in front of the students, would shout.  The turnover of employees was outrageous.  Three of us marketers, within three months, disappeared.  Three front desk receptionists, every year, would quit or be canned.

You need to discover ways to bask your employees in love.  By showing them love, you’ll have a more loyal, hardworking, ethical staff.  Mariotti (2019) says, “Treat your employees like family” (28%).  Here’s how:

1. ” Treat them fairly and considerately.  (Mariotti, 2019, 28%).

Lest we forget the golden rule—treat others as they like to be treated, not how we like to be treated.

2. “Support lifelong learning” (Mariotti, 2019, 28%).

My boss dangled a carrot at my nose.  He tucked into the budget a sizable fund for me to get training.  And I could choose the courses of my dreams.  I felt a rush of, not just loyalty, but motivation.  That rush in your employees is worth gold.  That gold reflects beautifully on your company culture.

3. “Create an environment that makes your employees want to stay” (Mariotti, 2019, 28%).

Some companies just sound awesome: paid time off, benefits, healthy lunches, foosball tables, gift certificates to bicycle shops.  Who wouldn’t want to work at those playgrounds?  Oops, I mean offices.

One business owner I know gives Christmas bonuses and regular restaurant dining.  Any perk you give an employee draws out greater loyalty.  And you deserve a loyal staff.

4. “Encourage your employees to strike a healthy balance between their jobs and their personal lives. Always remember that your employees have personal lives and responsibilities” (Mariotti, 2019, 28%).

A loved one would tell his staff, “At 5 pm sharp, every day, I want you all packing up.  It’s time to go home.” His motto was work-life balance matters.  And he gained an efficient staff due to his leadership.

And a company I worked for let us start and end work whenever we wanted, as long as we put in an 8-hour shift.  And no-one was expected to work late.  One staff would show up at 11 am and leave a tad early, with no-one the wiser.  But his work shone.  Work life balance would make all your staff shine.

Yes, love your customers and employees.  By doing so, you’ll grow rich—not just financially, but spiritually.  Ah, love.  It’s your new bottom line.

References
Mariotti, Steve.  (2019).  The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business: Turn Your Ideas into Money.  New York, NY: Currency Books.  [Kindle Unlimited].  Retrieved from amazon.ca.
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