We’ve all called a company and been met by an automated system that seems to transfer us in circles before putting us on hold or asking us to leave a voicemail that never gets answered.
I get it, companies are busy. They’ve got a great product and are in high-demand. But, should this impact the customer’s experience? I don’t think it has to and here’s why.
When a company is centered around the value of “people” over profit, everything changes. Their people-centered process begins to take shape and if followed to the end, every call gets answered by an extremely courteous human, attentively listening and taking down notes to ensure that perfect finished product.
In July of 2008, Starbucks Coffee Company announced the closing of 600 stores across America with strong fears of bankruptcy. At that time they self admitted that their mission was “We are a coffee company that serves people.” After 6 months of exhausting meetings, trainings and reorganization, they found the problem. It was right there in front of their noses; their mission statement was backwards. Soon after, they flipped the old mission statement completely on it’s head and announced publicly, “We are a people company that serves coffee.” From the way they trained their staff to how they poured their coffee, everything they did after that day was drastically different.
Since then, they’ve opened over 21,000 stores all around the world. They began bottling their profits at the source of relationships and the profits were sweet.
Profit thrives in an ecosystem of numbers but people thrive in an ecosystem of integrity and good-will. So, how do we bring both ends of the spectrum under one roof you might ask? I asked my Dad this question and this is what he said: “Brent, everything you do means something to people. Your money will never care about how nice you are or how honest you try to be; but people always will and the source of your wealth will always be people.” My father owned his own carpet cleaning company for close to 20 years. When I was a kid, I used to dread helping him on the weekends because he wouldn’t let us leave until every single stain was lifted. His attention to detail was fueled by his care for “people” and he would go home with nothing if it meant that he gave each customer what he promised.
At the end of the day, people will always be a part of your financial equation and the more value you place on your first customer, the more value you can offer the next.
Lets raise the bar and make every customer feel like they are the only customer that matters.