I’m not into fear at all, as a matter of fact – I know we’re told NOT to fear more times than anything else all through scripture. Fear is insidious because it starts very small – a word or an idea, a pain or a look, a misunderstanding – and becomes real barriers to personal and business growth.
But bad exists. Danger exists. And not everyone is out for your best interests, either. Would it surprise you to know that not everyone on your customer list should be there?
Yeah, sometimes people take customers, partnerships, and relationships only because their fear of saying ‘NO’ is overwhelming. It’s easier to SAY, ‘one in the hand is worth two in the bush’ than to work that way.
Without firm boundaries in place, people don’t know what they’re stepping into – or out of. No clear reason can be established in the event the relationship becomes completely unworkable. If you don’t know why a situation is happening, you can’t manage it – to salvage it OR learn from it. If you don’t want to repeat the situation, you have to know what exactly happened. Only then can you avoid it repeating in the future with another relationship.
We’re responsible for teaching people how to treat us. It’s not better to stay in an unproductive relationship than to go without one, but that’s what many of us do.
Without fear in the equation, what does your ideal customer look like to you? What do they need, how do they respond, and do they respect your company – or are they ‘divas’ with a constant negative eye towards your employees or you? Have you figured out how to disengage from them, or do you just continue in the same patterns because ‘that’s customer service’?
Customer service serves the customer. It treats them with respect. It goes above and beyond to accommodate and foresee their needs. Great customer service does NOT mean that you pattern your business around them, or that you discount your services for every grumble.
Behaving like that, my friends, costs you money and ensures that they’ll continue to devalue you. Good customer service serves them best by finding a tasteful way to ‘cut the cord.’
According to Jesus, we have two commandments to follow for everyday living. Love God above all else, and love your neighbor as yourself. That implies that you take care of your neighbor, your customer, to a very high degree. Love listens to them, esteems them, and communicates effectively with them. If you can’t do that for yourself, it’s impossible to do that for another. You can only truly love another to the degree that you can love yourself. That’s not prideful or arrogant. It’s putting up systems and boundaries that allow you to exchange service for dollars in a valuable way.
Value to your customers, and value to you.
Are you in business relationships with emotional vampires? Are you catering to negative treatment because if you don’t, you lose their dollars? Does communicating with your customers feel like you’re about to step on a grenade?
That is NOT great customer service! How do you serve your other customers with that kind of weight on your mind? You can’t! As business owners, all our clients and customers are individual, important people – ALL of them, not just the most disrespectful. Would you want your daughter paying the most attention to the person who treats her the worst? It’s a bad precedent all the way around, even when that relationship is worth significant dollars. You have to be able to offer incredible customer service to everyone.
I’m not saying that inconvenient situations shouldn’t be tended to, they should absolutely be handled with your utmost care and consideration. But not everyone was intended to be your customer, and you have to know when – and how – to let go.
Remember, sometimes you have to make room for the good in your life and business. Don’t find yourself in a situation where you can’t develop healthy, positive and financially productive business relationships because you were too busy with the vampires.
This year, allow yourself to say ‘NO’ to the poor systems, bad ideas, and negative, uncooperative relationships in your personal and business life. Make a commitment to yourself to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ by tending your systems, programs, and relationships that impact your business to the highest degree of success.
THAT will be the BEST customer service you have EVER offered. What are you saying ‘No’ to this year? Leave me your comments!