They say money is the root of all evil – I so get that. I can spot greed a mile away. We are all driven by our desires but some folks’ desire is just the basic desire for cash; cash to buy what they want, to feel important, to be the best at earning a living. What does it all gain? In owning my own business, I realize that there are those that want something from me, that money is what they are after. Conversely, there are people who just want to hone their craft, love their life, and build relationships for the sheer joy of having friends/customers. Writers and authors, editors and marketers who truly just want to do what they do.
Customer Service is a clear indication of a company’s intention. Regardless of the product or service that they provide, that is the tell-all of their intention. So many times, I have gone into a business and known within minutes whether they want my loyalty or they want my dollars. It’s pretty easy to see. I once went into a bike shop to purchase a specific item. It was a locally-owned business, not a huge chain. I asked the price of an item in the window and was quoted a price range of $40 to $50 dollars. Another employee came up during our conversation and stated the price was $50 so I asked if they’d be willing to take $45 for the used item. He immediately went into his sob story of what he paid for the item and how he needed the full $50. I ended up paying that price because I didn’t want to shop around. Although, I wanted to shout over my shoulder as I left the shop to enjoy the $5 difference because I’d never come back to this shop again but I kept my mouth shut. I don’t know if he ever thought twice about it but I tell everyone I know to not shop there. All of this over $5. Really? Was it worth it to him? How much longer are these two young business owners going to stay in business with this attitude?
My point is, sometimes we have to stop thinking of the money and start thinking of the impact we have on the relationships we leave in our wake. Big corporations are what they are because in the beginning they made an impact in their community, they haggled the price, they catered to their audience, they did what they did because they loved it, and then money got involved. On a daily basis I deal with huge corporations that, in my opinion, some have gotten too big for their britches. They have no Customer Service because they don’t need to anymore. People flock to them out of convenience or price or an original good experience and they don’t have to maintain any effort to retain that loyalty. We are the sheep.
Entrepreneurs are a unique bunch of folks! None are the same but all have an identical desire; to take a chance, make a difference. It’s something to be stand behind, to support and encourage. But, when it becomes a priority of greed and not a mission of the greater good, is it really worth supporting? Take the time to hunt for the loyalty searchers not for the ease of the money searchers. It’s worth it in the end.