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Every business wants to bring innovative ideas to the table. But if these ideas don’t serve the customers that they are selling to, the products won’t move. Brand loyalty only goes so far when customers are looking for solutions to their problems. When a business neglects customers, it createsvanity products that impress itself. But impressive ideas will eventually reach a profit cap when launched without respect to real customer needs.

Growing a customer base requires a team that knows how to appeal to customers. Customer knowledge should guide every decision made by team members and managers. No exception.

While growing my company, I had to communicate this to the team. No matter what challenge we faced, we had to keep the customer at the forefront of every innovation. Our customers were looking for solutions. And if we couldn’t provide a solution to their problems, we would lose them to a brand that did.

In my upcoming book, I reflect on the importance of customers to a business. I made customer service a high priority in order to keep everyone happy as they interacted with our brand.

“So as we set our course, I kept excellence at the core of every hiring and training session. Several dozen team members were added to the Equator family, and carefully trained in all aspects of Equator’s service and processes.

“Our customers must never come second to anything,” I reminded them during one session. “Every product we innovate is a direct response to our customers’ needs. That’s what sets us apart from the major corporations that innovate just to innovate without consideration for the solutions their customers actually seek.”

The new team was trained in service expectations and the technical capabilities of the machines so they could address and handle any problems that might arise without resorting to the frustrating customer handoff scenario. Soccer balling customer problems through a hierarchy can leave aggravated customers with a bad taste for a brand. My goal in every customer interaction was to leave them feeling cared for and in fully capable hands. Our power team would man the phones and provide service that our customers could feel good about.

…If we’ve learned anything over the course of years, successes and failures, it’s that customer experience is everything. We don’t take consumers for granted. Small businesses may be the backbone of America, but our customers are the backbone of our small businesses.

If businesses neglect customers, they will quickly feel the consequences. Phone lines will go silent. Stores will be empty. Profits will drop. And the team will have to go back to square one with a dent in theirbrand.

When businesses put customers at the center of every idea and interaction, customers take notice. They see their feedback being put into action, see real solutions devloping thatrespond to their problems and become loyal promoters of a brand. Investing in stellar customer service pays off.


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