Many business owners who are really good at doing what their business does and struggle to do the business, let me explain. Many have plenty of reasons why they do what they do and most have convinced everyone around them of this story. Their customers can see, feel and hear what’s happening and many find new places to do business. This fact is substantiated in a survey conducted in 2006 by the S.B.A. and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Here are the results to the question, “Why do customer’s leave?”
• 1% die
• 3% move away
• 5% seek alternatives or develop other business relationships
• 9% begin doing business with the competition
• 14% are dissatisfied with the product or service
• 68% upset with the treatment they’ve received
Clearly business owners, managers and employees need to learn how to offer better treatment of customers. The most expensive way to grow a business is the process to get new customers. So, the question to ask is, why would any well meaning, business person mistreat a customer?
Many business owners are so busy they think they are doing just fine or it’s the “other guy” whose employee mistreat the customers. Many don’t realize how things have changed and to what “things” their customers are comparing their experiences too. Many are too busy working in their business not on their business, as Michael Gerber of the E-Myth would say. It reminds me of the story that Stephen Covey tells in the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” about a man struggling to cut down a tree.
” A man was struggling in the woods to saw down a tree. An old farmer came by, watched for a while, then quietly said, “What are you doing?”
“Can’t you see?” the man impatiently replied, “I’m sawing down this tree.”
“You look exhausted,” said the farmer. “How long have you been at it?”
“Over five hours, and I’m beat,” replied the man. “This is hard work.”
“That saw looks pretty dull,” said the farmer. “Why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen it? I’m sure it would go a lot faster.”
“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says emphatically. “I’m too busy sawing!”
Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock, is quoted as saying, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”