Focus on the Customer, Not the Money
Posted by Shep Hyken on March 25, 2014 9:33 am
Striving to take your business to the next level of success? Perhaps it’s time to refocus. Stop worrying so much about the sale, and just take care of the customer. Whether the customer is buying right now or not, if you deliver the best service you can, eventually the sale will come.
This is not a new concept – it’s something I’ve been supporting for nearly 30 years. Still, however, when I ask people what the function of a business is, most answer, “To make money.” Not so. As Dr. Ted Levitt, senior professor at Harvard Business School, once said, “The function of a business is to get and keep customers.”
Don’t worry, money still figures into the equation, but it is not the function of the business. It is the goal. And to reach your goal – making money – requires attracting and keeping customers.
By keeping the focus on getting customers and keeping them happy, you will make money. Without customers, there’s no business – and no money. Think about Dr. Levitt’s statement and you will realize what a brilliant concept it is.
To illustrate the point, I’ll turn once again to Ace Hardware, the role model for customer service featured in my latest book, Amaze Every Customer Every Time.
A resident of Mesa, Arizona, Maria, and her 8-year-old daughter, Lisa, were shopping in the mall one day and Lisa spotted one of those color-changing Mood Rings. She tried it on, but it was too small and wouldn’t come off her finger. Maria struggled for an hour to remove the ring from Lisa’s finger to no avail, and the finger was showing signs of circulation problems. Who did Maria turn to? The nearby Ace Hardware store. They help with everything.
An Ace associate, Floyd, knew just what to do. He used a special pair of pliers and slowly and carefully removed the ring from Lisa’s finger.
Maria didn’t buy anything that day, but she took a picture of her daughter, happy that the ring was removed, and posted the photo on Facebook. She included the story of what happened and how Floyd at the local Ace Hardware had been so willing to help.
Many people responded to the story of how Floyd delivered the amazing helpful service that Ace is known for. Did that Ace Hardware store make money from the incident? Not directly, but they made a customer very happy, and that customer evangelized on their behalf.
If you truly focus on the customer, not the money, customers will notice. They will appreciate the importance you place on them and repay you with loyalty – and business.