Real Leaders

Treat Your Customers Like Humans, Not Numbers

Numbers are obviously important when it comes to the growth and longevity of any business. It’s the default method to measure success, and it’s tempting to make it the only way to measure success. It’s easy to conclude that your business is good if the numbers are good. However, that might be a critical mistake.

Your customers are the most important part of your business’s growth and longevity. You can’t be successful without them! Your customers don’t necessarily care about your numbers. Beyond some basic confidence that your company will be around for a while, your customers probably don’t care about your revenues or profitability. What they do care about is how your business engages with them individually.

Executives, perhaps harnessing the constant emphasis from their MBA program, love to search for the next new thing, a new hack, or a cutting-edge way to increase profits. Being clever is great, but the foundation of your business is, and always has been, your customers. How you treat customers, or at least how they perceive they’re being treated, can be the difference between corporate success or failure, especially in today’s world with online reviews and social media.

It is imperative to remember to step into your customer’s shoes and see things from their perspective now and then. That perspective and a commitment to establishing tower relationships deep-rooted cus will determine your success more than anything else. 

Below are some tips for providing first-rate customer service that will set you apart from the competition.

It’s All About Respect

Southwest Airlines President Emeritus Colleen Barrett once said, “To earn respect (and eventually love) of your customers, you first have to respect those customers.”

Short and sweet, but this sentence packs a lot of power. Customers can sense a lack of respect even by the tone of someone’s voice, so it’s vital that your employees are intentional and composed in every conversation, by phone, email, or text. 

Remind your employees to think about how they would want to be treated if they were the customer. Forty percent of people report a willingness to stop doing business with a company because of poor customer service, especially when they feel the company regards them with indifference. 

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Keep Your Word

It’s pretty evident that people are only comfortable doing repeat business with companies they like and trust. The fastest way to damage your reputation is to become known as a company that’s not forthcoming with its customers. 

Are there surprise charges on your invoices that weren’t explained to your customers up front? Are you delivering when and how you committed?  

When you deliver on your word you build trust with your customers. Each time you come through for any of your customers you lay down a brick in the building of a reputable business. 

Actionable Solutions… Never Blame

It’s impossible to be perfect, and customers don’t expect you to be. Instead, what they look for is companies that own up to their mistakes, are apologetic about miscommunications, and are eager to learn from mistakes. Providing solutions to ensure mistakes aren’t repeated is often all that is required. 

It has to be said that you should never blame your customers for a failed outcome. Every part of the customer journey, from the time they browse your products or services until the time they are delivered, is, ultimately, your responsibility.

Evaluate Your Company Culture

Do your company culture and values place proper emphasis on customer care? Have you hired the right employees to interface with your customers? Do your employees have the right training? Have they developed sufficient empathy to treat customers with kindness and respect? 

All successful business is built on relationships. For your company to thrive, be sure to treat customers like humans and not just numbers.

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