It’s a question every small business owner has to answer regularly: “How can you provide me with value when your company is this size?” As a society, we want to put more value into the quality of service a company provides, but most often we choose to work with the larger, more well-known option. It’s amazing how people have accepted being treated like a commodity just to save an extra dollar here or there.
“Please,” “Thank You,” and “How Can I Help You?” have been replaced by “Leave a message and we’ll return your call in 24 – 48 hours.” We hate calling a company and having to press numbers for five minutes just to talk to a person, but we tolerate it. And even worse, as a society we are telling corporations that this customer service model is okay because we continue to spend our time, money, and energy on these company’s services and products.
The biggest difference between success and failure for any small businesses ultimately comes down to marketing and the attention you can bring to your product or service. Some businesses do such a great job of building a loyal fan base that spreads the word right away. For many, they never have the chance to build that following and since they can’t spend the money on TV commercials and online advertising, they never have the chance to realize their full potential.
Supporting an up and coming business, or a small business has become something we encourage once a year (November 25th, 2017 was last year’s Small Business Saturday), but why can’t we support small businesses all the time?
Regardless of what line of business you’re in or what personal decisions you make in life, try to support the “little guy” when you get the chance. Try to recognize that nothing that’s big today was big to start off, and even for the largest corporations it took time to get to where they are today. Most large companies don’t want the little guy to win because they may lose a couple dollars to their bottom line, but let’s be honest, most of the people running the big companies didn’t build it from the ground up so they have no idea how hard it was at the beginning.
So, why can’t a higher quality of service be the norm again? Why can’t people learn to hold their time and energy as a premium, and make their decisions based on how they are valued and treated as customers?
At MyRepChat, we think great customer service can come first, but as a consumer society, our entire line of questioning and thought has to change first.
- “How many customers do you have currently” should be replaced “what inspired you to get into this business?”
- “What are your annual sales” should be replaced by “what is your vision for the future?”
- The internal question of “why would I pay more to buy the same thing” should be replaced by “who else could benefit from knowing that you can buy this product here?”
When we recognize quality of service and put it at the front of the line, instead of making our buying decisions based on the size of the company, everyone wins. The customer ends up with a quality product, and real access to people who can help when they have questions. Local jobs and opportunity are more likely to open up for local people. Those people spend their hard-earned money at local stores and on local services. It’s a better way to put our dollars back into the local economy, build a stronger community, and at the end of the day, help more people – instead of big business – thrive.