At Net Optics, we take a lot of pride in our customer first! attitude. For us it is a way of living. Our Customer Service team works with all of the departments within Net Optics to provide our customers with first class service and innovative technology.
We focus on building a strong, working relationship with customers so that we can guarantee your experience with the Net Optics family will be positive and productive from the first inquiry to following up after your order is shipped. So when I read this Harvard Business Review article I felt immediately connected and had to share it with our customer service and sales team. When William Taylor writes that “success … is about passion, emotion, identity — sharing your values” , “more than just price, quality, reliability — pure economic value.” I get it.
WE get it. Here is what one of our sales executives wrote me after I sent him the link:
Thanks for sharing this insightful little “truth” in the HBR. I have always believed that investing in “relationships” is at the heart of any successful endeavor, especially a solid business. The challenge as stated in the article is this idea of needing to “balance one against the other” in order to achieve the overall business objective. To believe that “success” necessitates some kind of trade off with “kindness” does not have to be the principle by which a company or its employees are motivated to achieve or perform. Although, it is obvious that what is practiced often drifts from what is believed on a such a fundamental level. It should not be perceived this way. If asked, our colleagues would openly protest and disagree with the idea that in order to be successful it means sacrificing the influence of kindness in the process of doing business. At some level this just does not sit well with the expectations of how people desire to be treated. People would agree both components, kindness and success, are interconnected in every good business relationship.
The question that is being asked by the article is better expressed as, “why if kindness is so important in business interactions that it is regularly sacrificed?” even though this ultimately puts the long term success of the business in jeopardy. And to this point, there are multiple reasons to address the “why” but at its core there are a couple that surface first. Expedience dictates the drift from belief to practice. The value of enduring loyal customer relationships has eroded in this fast paced, point and click responsive world to the degree that no one is looking beyond the present or near term business objectives to address the impact of today’s behavior on tomorrow’s opportunities. The pressure around present performance has minimized long term strategic planning. This is compounded by the uncertainty of the future and the immediacy of multiple options in a competitive market place. Unfortunately, kindness is overlooked as a key differentiator when looking at multiple companies which at first glance appear to be identical on the outside when it comes to the business solutions they provide.
Secondly, such emphasis is placed on the business objective at hand that sacrificing a little kindness in the relationships involved some how gets labeled as secondary in importance on the priority scale. Executing gains in a strategic battle does not guarantee ultimate victory. Battles are crucial but the ultimate goal is to win the war. This over emphasis on the process and appropriately addressing the methodology towards success in order to provide evidence that one is doing the right things often gets in the way of doing what is right. Employees who think of themselves simply as employees and not business owners who feel as though they have a vested interest in shaping the way business is done in their interactions with clients; makes for an environment where the process wins out over the person. Kindness is more than just a long term play. It must genuinely be part of the business environment. The idea of “Customer First” is more than just good business sense. It is a strategic reminder of how to practice kindness at each step in the business process. It is also a fundamental that must influence each turn of the rudder steering the company to it ultimate destination, success. If kindness is left behind, success at some degree is also sacrificed.