Every week we hear about more bankruptcies, business failures or mergers. We learn of financially stronger companies stepping up to buy a failing competitor who just canít seem to make it in the marketplace. Even though this news may appear negative at times, it should not be viewed as a sign of doom and gloom for the economy at large. Instead perhaps we should view these occurrences as a stimulus to become better in your own job, or to get better as a manager or owner of your own business. In this weekís lesson we will discuss why itís so important to serve your customers BETTER!
Throughout history, the weak, lazy, or complacent have always fallen prey to the more motivated and energetic victor. How long do you think a Roman Gladiator would last in the arena against a well prepared and more motivated opponent? Fortunately, mankind has outgrown such barbarism. However the modern arena is the marketplace. Itís here that the weak, lazy or complacent businesses, both large and small, are driven out of business by their stronger competitors. However, as a result, we would hope that consumers will be better taken care of since the word ďstrongerĒ in this situation means being able to satisfying customers better.
As weíve discussed so many times in these lessons, you just canít take anything for granted in life. You must constantly improve your systems and services to your customers, or be prepared to become the prey of your competitors. You must especially be on alert when you are pulling in extremely high profits. You should be congratulated for your ability to do so, but donít rest on your laurels. For these high profits will attract the attention of other entrepreneurs who will invest their capital in your industry and cause your profits to severely shrink, or maybe even disappear.
History will continue to prove that the best run companies offering the MOST VALUE to their customers will find a way to sustain long-term prosperity. Thatís not to say that well run companies ever have it easy along the way. They will lose many daily battles to companies that lie, cheat and manipulate new customers with low prices and phony offers. But over time, the companies that always seem to win are the companies who have honest people that really believe their mission is to SERVE THEIR CUSTOMERS BETTER than their competitors.
A simple way to win in the marketplace is to serve your customers better by treating them with more respect than your competitors. If your competitor makes promises that it canít keep, it creates a golden opportunity for you to keep yours. If your competitor bad mouths your company, it creates a great opportunity for you to be above it and not bad mouth them back. If your competitor is late, be on time. Just learn and study your competitorís weaknesses and do the opposite. By doing so, customers will be drawn to you like a magnet. And all you really did was treat your customers the way that you probably want to be treated.
Your business is only going to be as STRONG and EFFECTIVE as the people, policies and the execution of customer-centered goals your organization establishes. The opportunity to remain strong and profitable is up to and your associates. Hire individuals who want to spoil your customers and make them want to buy from you. This philosophy worked extremely well for me throughout my entire business career. It will also work for you.
Finally, always find ways to do things faster, better, and more cost efficient. Utilize the latest technologies that are available, as long as they donít hurt your relationship with your customers. In other words, if your customers would like to talk to a person rather than a computer when they call you, take a pass on the automated answering service. By doing so, you will be able to charge a little more for providing high quality services that customerís desire.
If you are constantly refining and making your business faster, better, and more efficient, you will keep your competition at bay. They will think twice before entering your market. But sitting back and letting things stay as they are today is like mailing your competition an open letter to come in and put you out of business.
Make it your mission to be the victor rather than the victim in the marketplace. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way to get better every single day. Think LONG-TERM, and set a goal to treat your customers like GOLD. One loyal profitable customer is worth five potential prospects. Surround yourself with honest and knowledgeable employees and choose vendors that help you and also share your LONG-TERM values. Doing what is RIGHT for your customers will also help you enjoy what you do every day. It will help you and your associates shine in the marketplace and reap the benefits of sustained prosperity!