Business is about relationships; every aspect of your business is reliant on building, nurturing and maintaining relationships. Building relationships doesn’t start and finish with customer relationships; in fact great customer relationships are difficult to maintain if the other relationships within your business aren’t satisfactory.
It is your customer service and relationships that will set your business apart from the competition, but in order to have the infrastructure within your business to give great customer service the relationships with you employees, suppliers and partners has to be right.
A lot of the time, especially on television, we are shown a brutality and harsh side to business that many feel is necessary to emulate in order to be successful. However, if a small business conducts itself in this way it is unlikely to have positive results. Being rude and abrupt and then expecting people to perform well when dealing with you customers is a dangerous and risky strategy to take.
Any relationships built on this hierarchy of the small business owner being more important that their suppliers and employees are built on sand, unable to stand the test of time if a better offer or a better price comes along. Treating suppliers and staff like this is incredibly risky as not only will their morale be affected, but when a better pay offer, deal or supply chain comes along they will have little affinity with you and will be unlikely to feel any loyalty towards you and your business.
Changes in suppliers and employees ultimately have a significant impact on the level of customer service your business can offer to its clients. Customer service relies on more relationship building that just the relationships you build with your clients in order to be successful.
Watching entrepreneurs and successful business people on television can seem useful; but if you are rude, abrupt and don’t listen to your employees and suppliers, these relationships are fragile and can place your business under huge pressure both financially and with the relationships built with your clients.
Of course, running a business involves having to make choices and be a leader, and letting people walk all over you will also lead to failure, but striking the right balance can pay dividends, and will give your customers a significantly better experience.
Treat people well and you will gain not only their trust but also their loyalty, and as a small business that is invaluable.