by Yolanda A. Facio | Featured Contributor
You have a choice in business.
You can do the right thing by the customer or you can do the best thing for your business.
Those two things don’t always align.
I admit I struggle with this at times because my modus operandi is to do the right thing by the customer. Do what we have to do to make sure the customer benefits from our actions. That sometimes means I give up profit over customer satisfaction.
As a business owner my legal obligation is make decisions that benefit my company so I have a responsibility. Especially when employees and partners are involved. And in a world where bottom line numbers show the outside world your level of success, I can see why many times “do the right thing” is pushed aside for “do the best thing”.
It may well be that this “do right” “do best” choice hasn’t ever occurred to you. You just sell your widget and move on. What’s the big deal?
The big deal is this…
What is your goal?
Just selling widgets and watching the bottom line can be a recipe for disaster. Jim Collins calls this asymmetric risk. Asymmetric risk is making decisions “in which the downside dwarfs the upside”. The amount of asymmetric risk you take on and how you manage it is a key ingredient to becoming a great business.
Many of the companies Collins researched for his latest book, Great by Choice, are diligent it their management of asymmetric risk. Companies that didn’t manage it well were doomed to fail and fail big.
Which raises the question, how much emphasis will you put on profits over customer satisfaction?
By doing the right thing by your customer, I believe you create a greater foundation of trust. Customer service then is nothing more than this one idea “do right by the customer”.
Why is this so powerful?
If you want to build a business based on prospective customers coming to you instead of chasing them down then you need to give customers a reason to show up at your business money in hand, no questions asked.
Sound like a dream?
It’s not. It’s how great businesses operate. They do their best to service the customer. They give the customer what she wants. They provide what the customer is looking for. They deliver consistently. They fix what’s broken.
Sounds simple doesn’t it?
And it is when you choose to do right by your customer at every turn.
How many businesses do you know where this is their focus?
Not many. Mostly they are worried about all those external factors like marketing, selling, advertising, managing costs, managing supply and yet these matter little to the customer. When you create smart demand for your products and services you create an environment where all those external factors are meaningless.
Let’s face it, hours after it was launched you couldn’t get an iPad. No stock… no problem – the customers waited. Advertising? Don’t need it because everyone is already talking about it. Manage costs? Nope, the consumer will lay out $500 no problem. Selling… nope, every iPad purchased was sold long before the customer arrived at the store.
Do right by your customer and the bottom line fixes itself.
Yolanda A. Facio is an Entrepreneur, Consultant, and Writer who helps small business owners run their businesses better so that they can get more done, make more money, and have more life. A seasoned business owner, Yolanda has spent 20+ years starting, building, and operating successful businesses; she has in-the-trenches experience that she shares through her work as a consultant and writer. Author of two bestselling Kindle books, when she’s not blogging at Balance Driven Entrepreneur, Yolanda divides her time between her clients, businesses, writing, and her two furry girls.