It's always personal

“It’s not personal, it’s just business.”Stress Don't you hate hearing this from customers on their way out?  Or worse, “I like you but…”

We've got to ditch the misconception that losing customers is strictly business;  it is not, and if we don't take it personally, it is likely to happen again.

Serving customers is personal because expectations are personified; we are emotion-packed creatures and the world revolves around us. If you want customers to come back then genuinely make them feel special, appreciated, connected.

The notion that while we are working ‘it is just business’ is a poor way to justify failure. Consider these typical answers to “why did we lose business this year?”

“I spoke to them, they said they just needed a change”

“One of their managers knows someone that does what we do”

“They never complained, it can't be us”

“We did everything right, something else must be going on”

“She does not like us”

While we are quick to adopt the "it's just business" we are even quicker to point fingers at someone who is to blame.

Here’s the thing: while there may be a hidden agenda, or special circumstances that lead to losing a customer, they are the exception not the rule. A ‘mea culpa’ may be in order in some cases (we are human and never infallible), failure to serve customers is rarely the result of just one employee.

Yes, it takes a village to raise a child and also an entire team to deliver exceptional customer service.

You don't have much of a future with your business unless everyone in your company is personally accountable. As Jon Strande coined in 2004 “It’s not business, it’s personal”

Feeling the pain when you have failed to deliver is one hundred percent personal. All you have to do is regroup and make it your business to do better next time.