Customers are like parents, you know. They ride you. They tell you to do things you don’t want to do. They hold you accountable. They make you honor your promises, make you listen to and be aware of others. Pick up clothes, do your own laundry. They insist you learn how to iron your own clothes and order from the menu and chew your order with your mouth closed. You’ve learned how to handle a knife and fork well enough so that you leave any remnants from your menu choices on your plate and nowhere else like your chin, the table or your shirt.
Every night they ask you to do your homework. And if you forget, they help you remember in ways that are increasingly loud and uncomfortable until the choice to not do your homework is less pleasant than the choice do it. One day you’re surprised with a positive test score and you connect the results of that discipline, not their tactics of course, to the result.
Still, you’re a kid. You have lessons to learn and you’re anxious to get ahead, reach your goals. Older kids, kids you idolize, already have. So you take some chances, you skip a few classes, hang with the wrong kids. KaBAM they crash your world with complaints and reminders and punishment.
It’s because they care. It’s because they see your potential. It’s because they’re partnered with you; they’ve attached their life to you. They’ll help you every step of the way.
Customers are the same way. They can be, if you give them a chance. They believe your promise. They believe in you. They trust you enough to risk their business, their career, their mortgages, the majority of their day on your promises and the potential they see in you. Their discipline is the best discipline. Their suggestions to improve are the best for you to hear. Their complaints are the most painful. On the other hand, like parents, they are the most forgiving.
Listen to what they tell you. Honor your promises. Eat your vegetables. Do your homework. Practice, practice, practice. Listen to those around you. Play nice with the other kids. Let one or two go first. Get better. When you screw up. And you will, we all do; them, too. Call them, ask them how to fix it. Ask them how to make it right.
They’ll tell you. They’ll tell you because they care. They’ll tell you because they believe. They’ll tell you because you matter and because they’ve attached themselves to you.
Those are the customers that matter.
It's because they care.