I am a consumer too. I consume a lot of services like banking, telecom, insurance, retail shopping, medical etc. When I look back and think what draws me repeatedly to some service providers, I realize it’s not usually the product. The product is almost similar. Price could play a role, but “search” costs are high. Product and pricing are mere hygiene factors – necessary to keep you in the game. What brings me back is “People”.
Ultimately, all service organizations are “people businesses”. Think of the last time you called up the phone-banking of your bank. That very interaction left you feeling either “better off” or “worse off” that what you felt before making that call. As you walk into a grocery store, the staff made it all too easy for you or you were left searching the mazes. Your perceptions of the organization are impacted by people.
And, every interaction a customer has with an organization’s employee is either a “deal maker” or a “deal breaker”. Either you can engage your customers through these interactions or end up with “lost opportunities” for engaging your customers.
And, positive employee-customer interactions are going to happen only when your employees are engaged. Start treating your employees like the way you would like them to treat customers. Because, it’s not just about the product. People are the software powering your business. They are your strongest marketing tool!