What you think about your customers and how you serve them will define and drive what you receive from them

Following on from my previous post (You cannot improve one thing by 1000% but you can improve 1000 little things by 1%), I’d like to share with you another quote:

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.
 – Mahatma Gandhi

Whilst this might not be a quote that you would normally associate with Gandhi it was apparently said in a speech in South Africa in 1890. Whether it is a true quote from Gandhi or not is not really important, I don’t think, as it fits with Gandhi’s overall philosophy of ‘Seva.’ This is a Sikh term that, loosely translated, means ‘selfless service’, as in service to humanity, service to the weak, service to others …etc.

Now, whilst I think this is a great quote and a great philosophy, I also think it is a great test of how we think about our customer(s). Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is you customer an important visitor to your business?
  • Do you make him or her feel important?
  • Do you tell them they are important?
  • How do you feel when a customer interrupts something else you are doing?
  • Do you feel like you are doing your customer a favour by solving their problem or satisfying their want or need?
  • etc

I’m sure you could come up with more questions.

However, my point is this: Philosophy is not something you say, it is something you do.

How you think about and act towards your customers in all situations will define how you act towards them, how you speak to them, how you look at them, how you treat them, how you shake their hand, how you write to them, how much effort you exert for them etc etc

And, ultimately, all of that will define and drive what you receive from them.

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