We are superior to the competition because we hire employees who work in an environment of belonging and purpose. We foster a climate where the employee can deliver what the customer wants. You cannot deliver what the customer wants by controlling the employee.” Horst Schulze
What kind of an environment do your employees work in?
Back to Basics:
- Start with “Why”
- Get the right people on the bus
- Determine your strategy
- Know your processes
- Manage your money wisely
- Be the leader who empowers the employees
- Customer service starts with happy employees
Last week I mentioned a small business owner who empowers his employees. This week I want to focus on Donald Gerrie of Gerrie Professional Cleaners because he exemplifies what Horst Schulze has to say to those who want to improve their business growth. Donald goes out of his way to ensure his employees have what they need to service the customer and are happy working for him. The result: Donald has a significant loyal customer base.
I’m highlighting these business owners because they are proof that small business owners can succeed and do succeed because they treat their employees well and that results in customer loyalty.
What does it cost you to acquire a new customer? Which of these costs pertain to your business?
- Designing and maintaining a website and all the SEO time and investment
- Marketing materials (paper products, other promotional items)
- Social media team or outsourcing
- Your sales team
- Developing and maintaining the CRM
- Marketing software, GoTo Webinars etc
Now consider what does it cost you to keep a customer? Good customer service! I read an article that said it costs anywhere from 5 – 25 times more to acquire a new client than it does to retain a current client. According to a study done in the 1950’s by IBM the surest way to retain loyal clients is to have happy empowered employees. Does that make sense to you?
Fred Reichheld, creator of Net Promoter System, wrote, “If you wonder what getting and keeping the right employee has to do with getting and keeping the right customers, the answer is everything.”
Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Air wrote, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
So, if you have employees:
- Do you put them first?
- Are they happy to be working for you?
- Do they share your vision and sense of purpose?
- Do they share your “Why”?
- Do they see the path ahead of them for the growth and development of their skills?
- Are they trained to take care of your clients?
- Are they empowered to make your clients happy?
This week’s mission, should you decide to take it on is “How can you improve the working conditions of your employees?”
- Do your employees need some customer service training?
- How can you empower your employees to take care of your a most valuable asset – your loyal customers?
FYI: Horst Schulze, born in 1941 in a small village in Germany, was former President and COO of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and is currently Chairman and CEO of Capella Hotel Group. Many consider him to be the one who defined the essence of luxury hotel experience. You can hear what he has to say here: