Most founders have two stakeholders to please: customers and employees.
While that sounds easy enough, it isn’t always simple. Periodically the very best interest of a person reaches odds with that of a worker. For instance, imagine an upset customer who’s becoming demanding of a worker. How will you solve this? May be the customer always right? It begs the question: Which group is more vital that you management? This question can be an important one. It is advisable to determine which group to build your company around, as it could magnetize your management decisions in a single direction or another, resulting in policy shifts and more broadly defining the entire ethos of your company.
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But, can’t they be equally important? Any successful manager needs to be thinking deeply about the needs of both groups. I really do, however, believe that management teams have to have a position — when it hits the fan, who do they value more?
Merely to clarify, I’m not discussing extreme situations. Whenever a person in the team is underperforming, your client deserves their due. Whenever a customer is making unreasonable demands, you need to shield your team. But this question goes deeper than relatively black-and-white situations. It’s about ethos, culture and the way the company is made.
I want to ask the question another way. Which would you rather lose — all your customers or your complete team? There’s no right answer of course, and the very thought of either stings. Personally, i would prefer to lose my customers. Generally in most businesses, hiring and training is a bigger lift than acquiring customers. Personally, i believe that the proper team will place it out through crisis and discover more customers. That may not be how all managers consider that question, but it’s how I really do. I’m a team-first manager.
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I don’t think I’m alone in this view. While founders of companies with extreme customer concentration might choose to prioritize their customers, I believe most other founders have previously unknowingly chosen to place their team first. Have a mobile app with thousands of users? You’re more than likely to be team first. But imagine if you merely have a few dozen clients? The decision might be more challenging.
What does putting your team first mean? What it doesn’t mean is undervaluing customers or delivering poor customer support. Quite the contrary. This means that buying culture, training and employee well-being is priority number 1. The magic is that prioritizing your team and culture actually leads to a wholesome business. Happy teams fight to keep their company alive so they don’t need to get employment they’ll like less. When people like their work place and colleagues, they train one another and revel in solving the hard problems the business enterprise is facing before those issues fester.
Retaining associates and hiring new is simpler. And, what goes on when people work hard and so are happy? They more often than not deliver an unbelievable customer experience. I really believe that in the event that you put your team first, you’ll have a stronger company — and ultimately deliver better customer support.