It Takes the Right Attitude to Achieve Greatness
Do You Have What It Takes?
Everyone wants to have a great business…but it isn’t an easy thing to do. Greatness requires many things and attention to detail. Maybe more than anything else, greatness requires the right attitude towards customer care. Here’s an example of what I am referring to:
I needed an in-warranty repair completed on my home, which is a travel trailer. I called the company and their customer service representative refused to cover the repair based on a technicality concerning my warranty. Of course, I pointed out that I wasn’t going to accept his reason for rejecting my claim, forcing him to seek approval from his supervisor. When this customer service rep returned to the phone he told me that they would in fact do the repair, not because it was covered by the warranty, but because they were extending a “one time goodwill gesture”. He made it clear that they were reluctant to cover my repair and that they were only doing it because I was insisting. As I hung up, I realized that although I got what I wanted, I did not feel satisfied by this company. Why? Because what I really wanted was for them to express empathy that something had again gone wrong with my purchase and that they wanted me to be happy with their product. Instead, their reluctance to “give in” to my request for help left me feeling as though I could not trust our relationship. Although I got what I wanted, I didn’t feel good about this company and our future relationship.
In my opinion, this company lost twice in this situation. First, they now will be paying for the repair on my trailer, but more importantly, they lost a huge opportunity to create a loyal, satisfied ambassador for their company. I got what I wanted, but I don’t feel they “wanted” to help me. They had no empathy for my situation.
A very slight difference in their attitude is all that was needed to make me feel that they supported me. Instead, they chose to communicate that they were reluctant to help me and that I should consider it a “goodwill gesture” not a true desire to ensure my satisfaction with their product.
Empathy is the ability to recognize and then remove the pain a customer has in the buying process and the ongoing service of that product. Empathy in a relationship is what creates trust and loyalty. Without empathy, there is no bond and there is no belief that the company really cares. A lack of empathy is caused by having a short-sighted definition of profitability. Is it more important to protect company profits by denying satisfaction, or is it better to focus on what empathetic relationships can bring in the long run? Really great companies have thought this through.
“Empathy in a relationship is what creates trust and loyalty.”
As small business owners, we have the ability to ingrain empathy as part of the company culture. We can create an atmosphere of care and concern for all customers which will easily be translated though every team member. So never give something to a customer and then express your reluctance. Doing so will not satisfy them or strengthen your relationships. The attitude that builds true greatness is one that willingly wants customers to get what they need. Have you empowered your team with the ability to instantly provide what your customers need? Have you set the example of providing what customers want with a willing attitude? If so, you are achieving something that many large companies have yet to figure out. You are on the road to greatness.