Do you admire your customers? Years ago, I was visiting a friend who owned a small business. Our conversation was interrupted by a customer. After the customer left, my friend muttered under his breath: “Cheapskate.”
Many of my friend’s customers were looking for a bargain – in fact, his business marketed itself as friendly to bargain-hunters – and yet, at bottom, my friend didn’t like working with his customers.
I recently had a chance to visit Finland, where I produced* a video showing how one of our company’s customers is bringing clean energy to the north of Finland. I’m a fan of renewable energy, but my heroes are the people who are building and operating wind parks.
Our customer treated me like family during the long day of work on the video. One of the technicians told me proudly about his wife, who also works in the wind industry. They took me on an elevator ride up to the top of one of their wind turbines (the turbine is so tall that it took around 5 minutes to get to the top!)
I don’t know if there is any quantitative evidence connecting success with admiring your customers. Certainly I didn’t have to pretend to be enthusiastic – it came across as sincere because it is. The most successful business owners I know treat their customers like kings and queens because that’s how they view them.
Are you honored to be helping your customers achieve their goals? Is your customer your hero?
*By “produced” I mean: I hired the production company that did most of the great work, and generally got in their way while they were filming.