Our customers are our greatest teachers, who give us the opportunity to serve them, develop our knowledge and earn the material benefits of wealth and fame.
The best of your customers will push you to your limits, they will help you manifest your dormant capabilities and can make you shine like a diamond. They do so by their sheer grace and trust on you. It is important not to see your customers as a commercial opportunity as most CRM processes will label it as. Management gurus and recent literature underscores the need to place customers at the centre of all decision making, often explained through the popular jargon ‘customer centricity’. This has further evolved with the advent of digital first business models, in the form of a business objective that emphasises on ‘enhancing the customer experience’.
However, there is very little published literature that explains how to inspire your team and workforce to deliver this business objective consistently over a long period of time. As a result, there is extensive focus on governance and control to measure and drive customer experience and very little effort goes in inspiring people to do it out of their own will and freedom. Delivering an enhanced customer experience has become a stressful compulsion in most organisations.
This can be changed by looking at your customers differently, by seeing them as teachers rather than money minting machines. Good teachers help us learn what we don’t know, they expose us to new possibilities, they rescue us when we get trapped, they stretch us by setting impossible goals and they coach us to unlock our true potential. In return you pay them or the school they are employed with. Good customers are one step further. They do all the things good teachers do and also pay us for what we selfishly consider as an entitlement. Once you transform your mindset and view your customers as your teachers, you will be left with nothing but gratitude towards them and an enduring urge to serve them with devotion and love.
In order to do that, you need to first learn how to select your customers. You need to identify who will value you most and will be willing to invest in you by sharing their knowledge with you, openly expressing their needs and expectations. There is a lot of merit in selecting your teachers and customers wisely. In other words, you need to decide who you chose to serve and can do it with passion and dedication without feeling unhappy in doing so.
Once you have selected your customers wisely, you have to persuade them to be served. It is not easy to win them over. They have choices. They can’t play the teacher role to everyone. You must be compelling but also honest in your intent when you approach potential customers. If they see through you as a parasite who’s only aim is to suck out their money, you have no chance. They must genuinely feel your desire to honour and serve them just as you would to your teachers. Your role is to serve them with love and to feed them with your devotion and passion that they can experience in the form of your products or services. Nothing less will do. That’s the best form of branding and marketing. An honest intent to serve expressed in simple, non-pretentious language.
As a brand, you are best known and understood by who your customers are. They not only define you and give you an identity in the market, they become the reason for your prosperity and success. They can catapult you to the peaks of recognition, fame and wealth. They can also push you down the same peak with a slight tap when you err. Serving them efficiently, however, cannot be out of fear of losing all that you have earned through them. It has to be out of pure love and gratitude that only comes when you don’t see them as an opportunity but learn that they have given you an opportunity to serve them. Even if you make a mistake they will forgive you and give you another chance to serve, perhaps with a warning.
If you can nurture such beautiful relationships with your customers just as you would do with your beloved teachers, you can experience boundless joy in building your business and brand.
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