In the End, Business IS Service

Miracle on 34th Street (1994 film)

Is your team as committed to customer service as Kris Kringle? (source: Wikipedia)

How would you like to have 75% of your business be repeat customers who seek you out to get things? Most businesses would be thrilled, especially if those customers checked in regularly to see what you have. As Jeanne Bliss shared at smallbiztrends.com recently, when your company is clear about who it is and what it does, amazing things can happen.

Using internet retailer Zappos.com as an example, Bliss explores how clarity from the boardroom to the customer service floor can make a big difference in the decisions made, which create a trusted relationship between retailer and customer, keeping them coming back. The company was founded on the idea of great customer service after its founder,┬áNick Swinmurn, couldn’t find a pair of shoes he wanted back in 1999.

Today, if Zappos does not offer what you are looking for, their customer service reps will help you find it elsewhere on the web–sort of like Kris Kringle in the Miracle on 34th Street sending people to Gimbels when Macy’s didn’t have what they were looking for. As Zig Ziglar said, “when you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” When your customers know you are looking out for their interests, you create an emotional connection with your customers and they will patronize you loyally–even becoming your evangelists.

Are you one of those people who has “internal customers” — other organizations within your company that you serve? They may be forced to come to you for service, but what if you treated them with all of the respect and courtesy of an outside customer? Treating others with respect and providing them great service will also make these people fans of you and your organization, making it easier for your company to meet its mission and creating valuable contacts who might be able to help you in the future.

In the end, business is service because the best businesses in every field realize they must create a relationship with people about an offering. They may have to buy from you the first go-round for any number of reasons, but they will come back because of the relationship. Service provides a means to create that relationship. Clarity about this essential truth will help your organization grow.

Clarity of Purpose: What’s Your Promise? by Jeanne Bliss at smallbiztrends.com

What are the Characteristics of Successful Business Owners?

Marine Institute Ireland, Strategic_Planning_S...

Let’s face it, successful people think differently than others. Even if you don’t want to be a business owner yourself, do you want to have a better family life? Church? Club? Cause? It doesn’t matter what you want to do well, this set of 8 common characteristics of successful business owners by Dave Lavinsky on Small Business Trends is a great group of tips:

  1. Have a Crystal Clear Vision. More than anything, if you want to achieve a goal, you must be absolutely clear about what you are trying to accomplish.
  2. Have a Written Strategic Plan. If your goal is big, you need to think long-term. Want to fit this to your family? What do you want to be able to do with and for your kids as they grow up? I promise you, Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” is in store for you if you don’t think about this.
  3. Set Shorter-Term Goals. You have to bridge the gap between now and that strategic plan. Setting and achieving shorter term goals will give you the confidence to succeed.
  4. Ongoing Education. You will need to learn and grow to become the person who can carry out your big goals. Formal education may or may not be what you need, but getting the knowledge (and connections) you need to succeed is critical.
  5. Satisfy Your Customers. Whether a business, family, church, cause, you are serving someone in the end. What do they really want? Find out and your plans and goals will be strengthened.
  6. Be a Great Marketer. I used to think I couldn’t sell. Then someone pointed out that to win the hot girl who became my wife, I must have had a great sales pitch! Marketing is about creating awareness and beginning the process of motivating others to take actions. If you help them win, you can win, too.
  7. Be Laser-Focused in Your Work. There are lots of things you could do. But to succeed with your goal, you have to settle on the limited number of things that will help you get it done. When you finish, then think about something else to do.
  8. . Edison famously found 10,000 ways you could not make a practical light bulb. Are you willing to go the distance for your goal? As sales great Tom Hopkins likes to say, “I never see failure as failure, but as the price I must pay to eventually win!”

 

8 Common Characteristics of Successful Business Owners at Small Business Trends.