Treat Employees Like Family and Customers Like Friends
The magic formula that successful businesses have discovered is to treat employees like family and customers like friends, where the line between personal and professional is often blurred.
A corporate culture that treats employees with care and respect also has the capability to delight and amaze their customers. I truly believe they go hand in hand. Great customer service begins with great employees and great employee relations.
Employees count on you to treat them fairly and to provide them support. Great leaders create environments where employees are empowered and confident. Research has shown that when employee satisfaction is approached as aggressively as customer satisfaction, companies place themselves well ahead of the competition.
Your employee’s reactions to the way they are treated will have direct impact on your customers. Employees will only treat customers as well as their employer treats them. If you deal with your employees with respect and decency, they are far more likely to treat your customers that way.
As leaders we must create a culture and an infrastructure that supports meaningful interactions with both our employees and our customers. Although your customers and employees play different roles in the success of your business, they both contribute to its longevity.
Prioritizing happy customers and happy employees seems like a no brainer; however, it’s hard for your employees to deliver a great customer experience if your company doesn’t promote a good experience for them. Treating your employees with respect and kindness is an investment for they will stay by your side to the end.
What is the difference between a good company and a great one? It’s people. And how do you get people to give their all to care for their customers? Treat them like a family. Employees that are happy at their workplace have your customer’s interests in mind because they know they are a valued and cherished part of your company. Employees that are treated like family members have a feeling of belonging and contributing to something bigger than themselves.
Every business has its own philosophy that creates a mindset and a culture for your company. We have been fortunate to have high quality people as employees that take pride in their work. It’s a cliché for companies to say they treat their employees like family. But for Avatel, it goes ‘way beyond that. Unless your company feels like a ‘family’ you can’t make your customers your friends.
Good customer and employee relationships, like good personal relationships, depend on honest communication, fairness, trying diligently to do what you say you’ll do. When you think about it, the corner stone of keeping promises is integrity. We are honest and fair with people we care about not because it will be good publicity, or because it’s profitable. We keep promises with employees and customers because it’s the right thing to do.
We should approach our interactions with our customers as a relationship. Great customer relationships start with a positive workplace culture where employees are engaged and energized at work and enjoy sharing that positive energy with their customers.
When you care about your customers enough to be attentive to their needs, keep your word, and ask for their advice, you can turn them into friends. Treating customers like friends is hard work, just like real friendships. It is absolutely critical to transcend standards and put the personal element back into the relationship.
In order to treat a customer like a friend you have to care about their needs and you must live up to every word you say. A true friend is someone you can count on. In the same way, a company that proves they are dependable over time will win the loyalty and friendship of their customers.
A good friend is always willing to give advice when you ask for it. In business, being a friend means asking your customers for their feedback. Your customer feedback should be a valued method for enhancing your company’s performance. Showing you care about their satisfaction level speaks volumes about your commitment to them.
The golden rule of friendship is that friends help each other and want them to succeed. Proper relationship building creates a connection with your customers converting strangers into friends. People want to do business with people they like; they stick with what makes them feel safe, secure and comfortable
Companies that understand the principles of belonging, friendship, and dependability treat their employees and customers accordingly. The way we treat others definitely has a direct impact on our business relationships, if you feel appreciated and respected you are more likely to make others feel the same.
As business leaders, we must treat everyone with concern and compassion. After all, your business is not about you, it is about the employees and customers you serve.
Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP
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