What's the most important thing to your business?

From business owners to fresh-faced employees, everybody should ask themselves this question and they should remind themselves of the answer often.

From business owners to fresh-faced employees, everybody should ask themselves this question and they should remind themselves of the answer often.

But, unfortunately, I think most people will answer this question incorrectly. I’d be willing to bet that most people are thinking of their business' product, a top new strategy you may have or maybe even just cold hard cash?

It's clear to me that people are the most important part of your business.

Now obviously people means everybody, although I think your employees are hugely important, but for this post I'm going to focus on an equally important group of people, your customers or the people who could one day be.

"A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so."
Mahatma Gandhi

We’re in a new age of business, there’s so much choice for people, that you won't hold onto your customers by being the market leader. Another business will come up soon, and they'll be ready to disrupt your market and build something better.

However, what your competitors can’t do, is make your customers forget all the brilliant interactions with your brand. The hand written notes in an order or just as important, honestly saying sorry because the customer feels wronged. They are the interactions that your customers will remember and they are the interactions that will help you retain them.

Over the festive period, like every sane person, I ordered a big chunk of Christmas presents from Amazon. A notification came on my phone saying the gifts had been delivered, but when I arrived home, nothing. I was fairly angry and so rang up customer services.

The person on the phone didn't ask me loads of questions they didn't make me feel like I was lying to them. Instead, they where focused on fixing the problem. "We're really sorry, we can refund you to your card, or have them shipped out straight away" - situation defused and an extremely happy customer.

"If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000."
Jeff Bezos

Amazon is renowned for always doing what's best for the customer, even when that means they are making less money, or even losing money. Amazon for instance loses at least $1 billion annually on Prime-related shipping expenses.

Jeff Bezos sums up the plan on Prime perfectly - "The strategy around Prime hasn’t changed. We’re constantly innovating on behalf of our customers".

Some people would say that Amazon are playing the long game. Stating that they know it's easier and cheaper to retain customers than to win new ones. Amazon aren't playing any games, they've just realised how important customers are.

So next time you’re thinking of spending some time on getting yourself some new customers. How about focussing on your current ones, give them something to remember. Nothing will ever sell you better than a customer who's super excited about something you've done.

"If you’re in business, first and foremost, you have to be nice. Show your customers that you care"
Gary Vaynerchuk’s - Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

Don't put the focus on selling, instead, focus your attention on delighting that one extra person. How about giving them a ring, ask them how they are, thank them for using your services.

People remember when things go wrong, but what really sticks in people’s minds is when things go great for no reason. So, go out there and make somebody's day.