When working in a business, it is very important to know the reason behind the business. In other words, what is the business in business to do?
In answering this deceptively simple question, one must look beyond the PR and make an honest assessment of the brand. For example, the goal of a car dealership would be to sell cars, obviously. Well, perhaps not.
“We are all in this to make money,” is a common refrain in the business world. It is common because it is true, but only to a certain degree. After all, one should not be giving goods and services away. However, if a focus on profit looms too large, it will subvert the stated brand of the business.
Keeping with the car dealership example, if the primary goal is purely to make money, then the dealer will be tempted to misrepresent cars to customers, perhaps falsely stating that they are in better repair than they are. He/she may provide less than favorable terms, or including add-on services that the customer does not need, or perhaps push cars that are not a good fit for the customer.
Even if the dealer is not being unethical, the demeanor to the customer shifts, and his/her “people skills” deteriorate. The customer is not an individual to be served to his/her benefit, but a source of revenue. A customer will know when he does not feel valued, leading to a less than optimum experience.
When the predominant goal of the business is to make money and profit, the customer’s benefit and interest are secondary. If the customer feels that he/she is being taken advantage of or simply has an uncomfortable experience, he/she will be less inclined to visit again or recommend the business to others. After all, bad news travels faster than good news; bad experiences have greater power and impact than good ones. A dissatisfied customer can and will warn others not to visit. Why tempt fate?
The customer is not there for the business; the business is there for the customer. While any business should be compensated for its services or goods, the focus should be on how it can benefit the customer. Otherwise, any profit will be short-lived.