by Michael Riggs, M.Ed.
At the most fundamental level, making money is really about making people feel important.
No matter what your line of work — from fixing hearts to baking cakes, from creating pictures to destroying outdated buildings, or from making beds to designing new cars – your first job is to make people feel important. After all, customers spend their hard-earned money to hire you to make them feel important.
So, what makes people feel important?
What customers really want is to receive what they paid for (and were promised they’d get) and to get the feeling that they really matter. Nothing will send a customer packing faster and, in many cases to never return, than feeling that their wants and needs (and money) aren’t important. This turn-off may be provided at the point of sale by and incompetent and ornery provider or it may be deferred by a product that fails to perform its expected job once taken home.
What is a customer being told when she brings her full cart to the checkout counter and is faced with a checker that doesn’t make eye contact, doesn’t say “hello”, or has a general irritable disposition? Simply, “You and your money aren’t important to me.” End Result? The customer isn’t led to feel important and is less likely to spend her time and money there again.
What message is an ailing patient receiving when his Physician gives him a few curt moments before dishing him off to his nurse? Simply, “You and your money aren’t important to me.” End Result? The patient isn’t led to feel important and is less likely to spend her time and money there again.
What message is a proud new car owner being sent when, a mere 10,000 miles into her love affair, she has been forced to return the dealer eight times for problems large and small? Simply, “You and your money (and time!) aren’t important to me.” End Result? The customer isn’t led to feel important and is less likely to spend her time and money on that make of car again.
What message is a busy individual receiving when he goes to renew his driver’s license and is faces, after spending forty-plus minutes in line, an unfriendly “I am doing you a favor” customer service agent? Simply, “You and your money aren’t important to me.” End Result? The customer isn’t led to feel important and is less likely to spend his time and money there again.
While many jobs are seemingly well-removed from actual customer interaction, each job is part of a chain that is either strengthened or weakened by how well each link keeps the customer’s wants and needs in mind. All links are vital. While the weakest link breaks first, the entire chain becomes useless as a result.
Always employ the Golden Rule when doing your job, “How would I want to be treated by myself so that I feel important.”
In Another’s Words…
Above all else, work in a fashion that will deliver a product or service that will make the end-user feel important.
— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Professor of Psychology and Management