It’s the most basic of business basics. Love your customers.
You’re heard it a million times, and if you’re feeling stressed, it’s easy to forget. When you are working, in the flow, making progress, and a customer calls or walks in and interrupts, it’s hard to remember.
But… how do you work on that?
Jon Swanson gave me the best answer I’ve heard.
“You need to know what your purpose is. The point of a business is making a difference in the lives of people, and the most important group of people is…customers.”
The lesson: take time to be clear about your purpose.
That means time away from the business to think about, and be clear about your purpose.
In the moment, the way to apply this is to pause. Pause and remember your purpose. If you’re interrupted by the phone, put your hand on the phone, but don’t answer it yet. Take a moment. Picture a client with good news. Imagine all the wonderful possibilities. Smile, then answer.
For customers coming in the door, take a deep breath, and remind yourself of your average sale. Mentally say, “Thanks for the $50!” Smile and go give some great customer service.
This article is part of the Small Biz 100, a series of 100 practical hands-on posts for small business people and solo entrepreneurs, whether in a small town, the big city, or in between. If you have questions you’d like us to address in this series, leave a comment or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the whole series by subscribing to Small Biz Survival.
Photo by Becky McCray.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.