Many have heard the old phrase, "The customer is always right," but is that attitude necessarily the best for a successful business? There needs to be an equal sense of balance between business and consumer, and one of the most important ways to do that is by treating your customer as a partner.
Curt Richardson, the founder and CEO of start-up company OtterBox, said in an Inc.com contribution piece that it is important to remember that your customers are the most important partners you can have, as they are going to be your best advocates and your most vocal critics.
"By creating a relationship with the customer instead of just selling to them, a company creates an extended sales force, quality control and product development team," he said. "With social media, this relationship is more important than ever."
Richardson's final point about choosing the right external partners and forging lasting relationships in the same way internal employees are hand picked, should resonate with any business, large or small. In both situations it ensures paving the way for success, regardless of whether the company leader is there or not; proper partner choice strengthens the company as a whole.
An answering service would be a valuable addition to the partnership, as those professionals are trained in always putting the customer first, and ensuring that they are treated as equals – as partners even. Managers will not need to worry, as the company's goals will be instilled through the diversely trained professionals whose main goal is to serve their clients and willingly work with their customers under any circumstances.