The idealist in me would say, “I wish we lived in a society where customer service wasn’t a thing.” But, instead, I’d rather be a society with the same attitude of courteousness, respect, kindness, professionalism, and effectiveness for all stakeholders in our businesses, not just towards those to whom we are trying to sell.
We must expand our thinking to include our vendors, employees, and every other person we meet in our professional and personal communities. Otherwise, we could drastically reduce the quality of our brand and potentially lose the opportunity to engage with a broader market positively.
Most companies are aware that when customers experience good service, they tell 11 people. When customers experience lousy service, they tell 20 people. As a result of this knowledge, customer experience programs are developed to increase customer loyalty and positive referrals and mitigate negative experiences. However, if we expand the word “customer” to include all stakeholders, our ability to affect that broader market positively increases dramatically, and a healthier brand recognition grows exponentially.
The truth of the matter is that your company and brand will speak volumes regardless of whether you subscribe to the larger definition of the “customer.” So the question is, what do you want to broadcast?
I hope you want to broadcast courteousness, respect, kindness, professionalism, and effectiveness.
Here are three simple and good reasons why you should treat everyone as your customer:
- They may need your services one day, and they won’t give you the business if you have dodged all of their calls or have been rude to them.
- They can refer others to you when someone in their network asks them, “who do you know who can…?”
- They will go out of their way to help you, especially if you have a tight deadline or budget.
Wait, there is ONE more reason:
Because it’s the right thing to do and makes for happier people, ok, I think that’s two more reasons.
Always remember that just when you believe you have a position of power over another stakeholder, think again. They also have customers, employees, vendors, investors, and a business community of their own, just like you do!