With about 50% of businesses said to fail within the first five years, success is the exception. As business owners, we know the failure statistics very well. So we tend toward caution within our businesses. We feel rightfully concerned with profit and loss. And we seek to avoid anything that might threaten our profitability.
But the ironic truth is this: Being overly concerned with profit could be exactly what leads to our demise. More specifically, when the focus on profit overshadows customer satisfaction and service, I believe failure is likely. Or, at the very least, reaching your business’s full potential will remain inaccessible.
If your business is in a tough place, it hurts to shell out resources for customer satisfaction and service. But what if doing so would lead to long-term success?
Businesses must shift from a self-centered focus on profit and loss to the very people they’re serving. This transformation is critical if you want long-term success as a business owner and how to make the shift in your own business.
Having a scarcity-oriented, "give-me" mindset hurts your business.
When I first started my business 10 years ago, I was hesitant to take on smaller jobs. Like most other entrepreneurs, I wanted to take on only the more profitable opportunities. Little did I know, taking on those smaller repair jobs for customers likely would have led to them calling me back for a bigger, more profitable opportunity. But we were afraid of losing money, so we didn’t take them on.
If we received complaints on a job, we picked ourselves up by our bootstraps and continued to the next job. We didn’t do anything to remedy the situation. We lost the customer’s loyalty and the referral. We focused on getting new jobs to compensate for the loss and spent more on advertising to try and get more business. It didn’t work.
Again, little did I know sending these customers a gift or coming back to fix the job, even at our cost, could've led to the customer coming back for another job, leaving us great reviews and referring us to other people. But we were afraid of losing money, so we didn’t do it.
Despite our efforts, we were losing money at a rapid rate—until we began to shift our mindset. We realized we had to give more than just the products we offer in order to make real gains. The scarcity mentality was preventing our growth.
Put the customer first, and create connections.
"All the great fortunes in the world have been created by men and women who had a greater passion for what they were giving—their product, service or idea—than for what they were getting," Bob Burg and John David Mann said in The Go-Giver.
The "go-giver mindset," coined by The Go-Giver’s co-authors, emphasizes a customer-centered, give-without-a-second-thought mentality. This creates loyal customer relationships, generates referrals and, ultimately, creates more sales. Research backs up this claim, showing that customer service impacts your customer’s willingness to buy: A 2022 Zendesk study found that 70% of customers say the quality of customer service impacts their purchase decisions, and 81% of customers say they’ll be more likely to make another purchase based on a positive customer service experience.
Businesses establish trust and loyalty through how they treat their customers and the service they provide. But the go-giver mindset isn’t just about implementing a sterile customer-service improvement strategy. It’s about seeing your customers not as a means to a number or sale but as human beings who are worthy of all the respect, dignity and care you ought to exceedingly provide any person in any other non-business situation. It’s about truly serving and giving to others—and doing so abundantly.
What does this look like in action? Here are a couple of examples from my experience.
Simply put, go the extra mile to provide value to others—beyond the products or services you offer them.
Transition from "give me" to "go give."
The realities of what delights your particular customers might be different than what you originally anticipated. Often, it’s simpler. One effective strategy is to ask your team for their suggestions and insights, as they’re usually the ones on the front lines. When I ran this exercise with my team, my employees suggested they should start letting the customer know their daily plans on the job. Again, it’s often these seemingly small, simple actions that can go a long way.
Implementing a customer-centric approach could require incentives. Strategies such as profit sharing or giving bonuses for five-star reviews (or penalties for one-star reviews) might be helpful. And nurturing your employees' ability to service your clients might require additional training or support. But by continually striving toward a go-giver approach, the selfless mindset will hopefully become authentically ingrained in your organization.
However fearful you may be of losing profit, you won’t have a fair shot of success without first giving. As you do so, perhaps the real hope shouldn’t just be that you get more sales and referrals and raving fans.
Perhaps the best byproduct is shaping a more compassionate way of life for yourself and for your team.
And maybe that's worth the possibility of failure.
Source : https://www.forbes.com
Image Credit : Getty Images
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