Respect is the Root of All Revenue
Respect is in short supply today. It is missing when a “thank you” is met with “no problem.” It is missing when a customer complaint is ignored. It is missing when you limit your products and services to what is comfortable for you rather than trying to meet your customers’ needs. It is missing when the company culture is ostensibly focused on profit but in reality it serves to make people feel like failures.
How Does Respect Sound?
No respect: A cashier with a lifeless voice takes my order and I wonder if I should bother to buy the pizza. No “Hello, thank you for calling Red Tomato.” No “How may I help you?” No “Thank you for your order, we’ll see you in 10 minutes.” There are countless pizza places in town and I’ll never go back to this one. Revenue lost.
A lot of respect: A manager says to the technician “Andrew, you’re doing a great job on this very hot day.” And “Ms. Trivers, thank you for your patience as we work on your air conditioning system.” And, “The bad news is, it will take 3-5 business days to get the part. We are so sorry we can’t fix it any sooner. Let’s get an appointment on the calendar now, so we can be there as soon as the part arrives.” There are countless HVAC companies in town and I”ll be loyal to this one. Revenue gained.
How is Respect the Ultimate in Customer Service?
No respect: “We can’t do that, this is our policy.” Or “Please hold for the next available representative”….and you hold for more than ten minutes, and maybe up to an hour. Or “The doctor or lawyer is delayed. Have a seat and we’ll be with you when he/she is available.” You think twice about going back. And you tell everyone about the bad experience. Revenue lost.
A lot of respect: “We will figure out a way to help you get what you want.” The next available customer service rep answers your call in under a minute. The doctor’s or lawyer’s office calls you in advance and reschedules so you don’t have to wait. You are happy to return and you give a 5 star review or a testimonial that attracts others. Revenue gained.
How is Respect Manifest in Your Company?
No respect: The culture transmits a clear system of hierarchy, and it’s inviolable if you want to keep your job. People—real human beings—are valued only for their credentials and renown. Leaders are distant to anyone who is not in the inner circle. People are afraid to make mistakes or to miss their goals. The message that “There’s no ‘I’ in team” is used to put individual performances down. “Stretch goals” are set to intimidate, denigrate, or overwork people. Having a life that encompasses excellent work and excellent family and community is disparaged. Revenue lost.
A lot of respect: The culture recognizes all efforts, in every job and at every level. There is only one circle, the company circle that includes everyone. Each job or role is recognized for its contributions to the company’s bottom line. Goals are achievable within the typical work week and using the typical work tools. Stretch goals are set to help people progress and feel confident and fulfilled. Being able to embrace work, family and community is highly regarded. Revenue gained.
Ten Respect Tips to Increase Revenue and Profits
People do business with people they respect and who respect them in return. Try one of these tips today and create a plan to implement the others in the coming 30 days.
- Demonstrate what respect looks like, day in and day out, no matter what is happening in the company. It’s easier is the good times and crucial in the difficult times. Everyone looks up to the owner. Model respect and others will be respectful too.
- Greetings. “Welcome, hello, thank you for calling.” Any variation of a respectful greeting should be absolute and non-negotiable. This starts at the top. If the CEO or Owner says “What do you want?” or just grunts his or her name when answering a call, no one else will do better.
- “Thank you.” These are two of the easiest words to say. When someone does something you like or are happy with, say “thank you.” Every time. No matter who you are. No matter who they are. No matter if it’s in the job description.
- “You’re welcome.” When you’re thanked, say “you’re welcome.” “No problem” is not an acceptable substitute, because it implies that what you’re being thanked for was a problem.
- Recognize that a great team is comprised of many great individuals. These individuals have complementary skills that together enable the team to perform well. You must generously respect individual contributions or they will disappear and the team will fall apart.
- Leave time between appointments so if one runs over its allotted time, the people counting on the subsequent appointments are not kept waiting.
- Be generous with your time. Time is not money, respect is money. Time can’t pay you, the people you respect can.
- Listen to your buyers. Do not assume you know everything about your current buyers. Ask what else your current customers and clients would like to achieve, or what other value they’d like to get from you. Then do everything you can to design and deliver it.
- Listen to your employees. They do the work that you created and their perspective about how things work will help your decision-making regarding changes, improvements or even discontinuing.
- Respect yourself. Make time (don’t wait to have time, because you never will) for what’s important to you. Give yourself permission to take time off, to shut the door, turn off the phone, take a walk, exercise or meditate during the day, and spend time with family and friends no matter what is happening in the company. There is no client or prospect who is more important than you are. When you truly respect yourself, you will naturally respect others.
Respect: it’s how your revenue and profits grow.
While it’s easy to read what I’ve written here about how respect makes money, it is often hard to actually do. If you’re in need of a customized list of respect actions, or want moral support to do what you know you need to do, I’d been delighted to hear from you. Give me a call to arrange a virtual coffee and conversation. 703-801-0345.