I was listening to someone speaking recently, telling a group of people that what others think of them doesn’t matter. I thought to myself “this is very true…to an extent!” if you are a business person, then you will know that, particularly when starting up, with little or no staff, you are the face and representation of your business! You deal with potential and actual customers, you promote your product or service, you deal with future employees or contractors. If people find you unapproachable or difficult to communicate with, they will think twice about using your product or service – especially when there are likely to be a range of other businesses out there, offering a similar service!
My mother, grandmother and I love to visit a little tea house in my local area. It’s very pretty and the food is good. However, the manager – who also happens to be the owner, could have done with some customer service training to be honest! I could tolerate her, but she often came across rude and quite frankly, unapproachable. What’s more, I found mainstream newspaper articles and negative reviews online about her from disgruntled customers, stating she had made it very apparent to them that their children were not welcome at the tea house.
Fastforward to last week. We visited the tea house only to find that it was now under new management – and – as a fairly new mum myself, the first thing I noticed when entering was a stack of highchairs for small children. I’m not sure what happened with the previous owner – maybe she decided to sell for no particular reason. Or, maybe the business wasn’t reaching it’s full potential because people couldn’t overlook her poor customer service skills. What I do know is that I’m sure families will soon be flocking to the joint when they realise their children are welcome to join them and that they will be welcomed and served by friendly staff!
I agree that we should never pretend to be what we are not, just so that people may like or admire us, but I do believe we should constantly be working towards better versions of ourselves. When we have this attitude in business and are constantly seeking feedback from colleagues and customers, it can only lead us to change for the better!