What customers want and what you must do to make it happen.

What do customers want?

You might say great products or great service or even low prices. And while all of these may be things customers want in one way or another, ultimately, they simply want to get some job done with as little hassle as possible. Yes…it’s that simple.

So, how does a business do it?

There are all kinds of answers. Some complicated and some less so, but there is fundamentally only one way to get the ball rolling and that is to build a culture focused on service.

Why service? Why not employee focus or customer focus?

To put employees or customers at the center would mean excluding one or the other, but when you focus on service, you consider both. When the key function of your organization is helping people, regardless of who they are, you have caring in your DNA. And if you make it clear that this caring is about concern for the quality of the work —getting the job done— and the wellbeing of those served —no hassles— you have the ingredients of great experiences for everyone.

Thus, when serving is a cultural norm where everyone serves each other internally, what goes out to customers comes naturally. If everyone in the organization cares about the quality of the work they deliver and the wellbeing of those they deliver it to no matter who those people are, you cannot help but give customers what they want.

So, until you get this foundation built, stop working on products, processes, and systems. Stop training behaviors, greetings, how to shake hands, etc. These are just bandages covering a cancer, namely, having something in your organization’s DNA other than helping people. And if that’s the case, you probably have people moving in multiple directions. Some focused on profit, some focused on selfish interests, and maybe a few focused on customer concerns. But you need everyone working together to best serve your customers, not just a rag-tag few. Imagine a sports team where some players try to score against their own side, it would be pretty hard to win. You have to have everyone on the same page working together or it simply will not work.

Now, if you are reading this and you don’t care. That’s fine, your organization will be relegated to a slow death or, if you are lucky and you hang on, mediocrity. However, if you do care, don’t let this go. Get to work. Make service focus your rally cry. Make serving each other as important as serving customers. Make caring about the work and the people your bottom line. You will be rewarded.

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