What Could CEC Stand For?
September 24, 2018
CEC – initials for powerful words in business. The impact that customers, employees, and communication have on a business is profound, yet so often overlooked.
Without customers (clients or patients) there is no need for whatever products or services a business provides; therefore, there is no need for the business to even exist. And, without customers there is no need for employees. So, doesn’t it make sense that customers should have a priority in any business?
Certainly, some customers are easier to deal with than others, but all are important for the long-term sustainability of a business. When a business incorporates the philosophy of "customers first" into a written or implied mission statement, customers notice that type of attitude. Customers purchase for benefits and solutions to problems. They want value for the money they spend with a business and, in turn, want to feel valued, as well.
A simple "thanks" or "we appreciate your business" can make the difference between one business and its competition. This just might be the additional edge needed by a business to set it apart from the competition
Who actually is the most important customer or client a business has? It should be the one coming into a business, sitting across the desk from a sales person, or calling on the phone. When each and every customer is the most important customer a business has at that exact moment in time, it tends to create a loyal customer. Business growth is created when new customers are added to an existing customer base. When treated right, new customers then become loyal customers over time. It is far less costly and time consuming to retain loyal customers than always prospecting for new ones.
Employees are a company's most valuable assets but like customers, they can be taken for granted. Without employees a business cannot operate (unless it is a one-person, sole proprietorship). And, without committed employees, a business cannot function at peak efficiency that is a necessary ingredient for becoming highly profitable. If employees are not on board, then customers are not treated with the care that is necessary to ensure that they will return to repeat their buying experience.
It takes more than just issuing a paycheck to build employee loyalty. Owners and managers must set examples for conduct, ethics, and customer attitude. A culture must be established, so employees feel a sense of importance and pride. Respect works both ways. Owners and managers must show respect to employees, so they in turn show respect back to the company and, ultimately, its customers.
Small gestures of appreciation go a long way. "Please" and "Thank you" are not out-of-pocket expense items. Compliments rather than complaints can do wonders for attitudes. Excite, engage, and train employees. The long-term benefits will more than outweigh the efforts.
Communication is a key factor when dealing with anyone in business – customers, employees, vendors, investors, or lenders. It is important to keep an open mind – listen, think, and then respond. Different opinions exist all the time. Perhaps, one opinion is the best or perhaps not.
It is only through open and honest communication that real progress can be made between individuals. Innovative ideas, positive change, collaboration, employee buy-in, delegation, motivation, leadership development, or problem-solving are all the result of positive communication.
Nothing can be accomplished without communication. Whether results are positive or negative will depend on how things are communicated. Is the tone positive or negative?
Customers, employees, communication. They all work together to enhance a business’ growth and ultimate success. Although the words by themselves are small, the actions they collectively represent can have a dominant role in the direction of a small business or SME.