Great customer service is critical to the success of any small business. However, so is a quality product. They are two sides of the same customer experience coin. You have to be focused on both or you won't keep customers, long-term.
As you grow your company you will have to hire and manage people to achieve that growth. You will have to learn how to be a boss and how not to become like the one (or ones) you hated most in your business life. The jerks!
A line from "Cool Hand Luke" that is, often, what causes negative customer relationships. Not just with direct communication with the customer, but, as likely, with the internal communication (or lack thereof) within a company that affects that customer.
There is no one size fits all mentor for entrepreneurs and small business owners. An advisor or mentor relationship has to fit a small business like a good running shoe fits your foot. It gets you where you want to go, with support and without blisters!
Recently, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal on CEO "burnout." While it focused, primarily, on larger public companies, "burnout" is an issue that is applicable with lessons to be learned for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Like the song, "How Do You Keep the Music Playing," entrepreneurs always want their company to grow but, at the same time, they want to keep it fresh and not lose that start-up spirit. But how do you keep that entrepreneurial music playing?
Staying on top of your market, the target customers you serve and the way in which you deliver (or they expect) your product or service is critical to your success. That requires you to constantly be assessing that market.
Anybody with kids knows the toughest question they ask you always begins with "why." Where there's a problem, understanding "why" the problem exists, puts you on the path to solving it. For entrepreneurs there isn't a more important question to ask.
A very Zen-like expression, don't you think? Zen emphasizes the attainment of enlightenment and wisdom gained through direct insight. And that is exactly what you need to build a market and create and sustain successful customer relationships.
Sales are what makes or breaks a small business. Yet many entrepreneurs, especially those who are the product gurus in their company, never fully grasp their importance or the process that drives them. Sales are not just a function of a good product.