Your employer or the customer, who’s the real boss? Guest writer Catherine Plano discusses.
Your customer is the boss.
Just think about it… who pays you? Your customer, right? So it makes sense that your customer is the boss and not you?
Henry Ford once said – It is not the employer who pays the wages, they only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.
Now who’s the boss?
Your customer is your paycheck. Without your customer – there is no money to pay you!
What does that mean?
It means that your customer:
– Tells you what to do (and is fully entitled to do so)
– Collaborates with you on your work
– Lets you know when they are satisfied or dissatisfied with your work
– Sets clear priorities for your work
– Always works on the tasks that are most important to them
Most entrepreneurs and businesses dive into a project or a business because they think they know exactly what the customer needs or wants. And… how do you think that has worked out for them? Exactly. Not that great.
Imagine what you could create if you changed your mindset and looked at your customer as if they were your boss. What would you do?
You may go out of your way to impress them by making sure your deadlines are met and keeping your promises. You may be more appreciative of them and be thankful that they are supporting your business. You may be more patient with them and listen to them with your heart. You may go out of your way to help them because without them, you would have no money. And… if you wanted a pay increase, then what would you do?
Ultimately, every entrepreneur and business is accountable for meeting the needs of their customer and they are especially careful to listen to their customer’s needs and wants. Only then can they respond to their changing needs and adapt accordingly in a quick manner.
Rarely can anyone or any business dictate to its customers what they need. Your power with your customer comes from your value you bring to her or him.
If you ALWAYS have your boss (your customer) at the forefront of your thinking before you make any business changes, you will turn your customer into a business partner – this of course is hypothetically speaking. Essentially, it is all about seeing your customer in a new light to strengthen your relationship and achieve more accomplishments for both parties.
You see, by shifting your mindset from what makes you happy and what makes your life wonderful… to what makes your boss happy and what makes your boss’s life wonderful, you are actually working in collaboration to create a successful business for yourself. Instead of thinking ‘how can I make more money?’ or ‘how can I grow my business?’ you should be focusing upon your customer, your real boss. If you spin this around you will start to think outside of your default position and into the minds of your boss (your customer) to truly create something magical.
No business can succeed without a happy customer (boss). So… how do we start?
First you have to understand your boss. Find out what their true problems and goals are (not the ones you think they are) and how you can help them.
If you don’t want to set yourself up for failure, some key points I encourage you to invest your time in are:
Understanding your market helps you target your ideal customer. Most successful businesses develop strong strategies based on market research on:
– customers trends
– customer needs
You need to understand the challenges in your marketplace to identify areas of your business that could be updated or changed. Use this as a starting point for productive business development.
Sending out a questionnaire before you launch a product or business is a great way to acknowledge whether this is a right fit for your customer.
Test or pilot your idea first by seeking feedback from your customer to improve your customer focus.
For example, some questions that you could use:
– What are your business/personal goals? Desires?
– What do you perceive as your greatest Strength? Weakness?
– How is this new Product or Service evaluated?
– What are your motivations? Frustrations?
– What are your challenges? Fears?
– What level of service are you willing to pay for?
– What do you look for in a company to do business with?
– What do you perceive your needs to be? How important are they?
– What do you look for in your relationship with a supplier?
By asking your customer for feedback it shows them that you really care. You’re not just doing business for financial purposes; you truly want to make an effort to deliver 100% for your customer. After all, you are now aware who the real boss is, right?
Integrity goes a long way to building customer loyalty. Customers are looking for a distinction, something new and different, otherwise you just blend in with everybody else.
It takes a little bit of time, energy and a mindset shift to create a successful outcome. Now, what will you be doing to meet the genuine needs of your real boss?
Words by Catherine Plano. Visit Catherine’s site here to view more of her work. Alternatively ask her questions on Twitter here.
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