Is this where we are?  I’m so utterly dismayed at the concept of creating a successful service business without as much as talking with a customer or prospect.  How did we get here?   How did we lose sight of the fact that customers want to do business with live people and particularly those they know like and trust.   The advantages of speed and instant gratification we get from our digital advances are very quickly nullified by our lack of human interaction.   Relationship building with prospects and customers is step #1 in profitable business building.

I read a question on one of the forums this past weekend, asking readers to weigh in on whether this service business owner should call a client in response to a complaint or would an email or text suffice?  Since the customer’s main method of communication had been email, this owner felt that a text or email would be appropriate in responding to the quality concern.  The justification for this train of thought is “everyone is busy” and it would save a lot of time to just respond by email.  “My customers don’t want to be called”.   Now from someone who has been around since before the days of emailing and texting, I am curious as to how we accomplished so much when we “had” to make time to actually speak to or visit a customer.  Those were the only options.   Amazing that we could grow businesses to become profitable, successful and meaningful assets in our markets.  Utterly Amazing!

I shake my head in sadness that owners with this mentality are missing opportunities to build relationships with clients that will endure most all negative issues and help build the true foundation for a profitable business.  Profits are built one step at a time one customer at a time. When we neglect the human factor in business, we become just another company offering another widget and then its a matter of who can make the lowest price widget.  Selling a service for a value is far different from selling a commodity from a vast array of similar items.   If you haven’t experienced the joy of interacting with customers, you are missing the entire purpose of owning and managing a service business.  It’s all about the relationship and staying connected! Pick up the phone or better yet, come out from behind your computer screen and conduct business “live”.   Try it, you might like it.