People ask me, how is managing in the New Economy different from managing in the Old Economy? Actually, it's a lot the same. It's about the financial discipline of the bottom line, understanding your customers, segmenting your customers by their needs, and building a world-class management team.
It's ironic that retailers and restaurants live or die on customer service, yet their employees have some of the lowest pay and worst benefits of any industry. That's one reason so many retail experiences are mediocre for the public.
Our mission statement about treating people with respect and dignity is not just words but a creed we live by every day. You can't expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don't exceed the employees' expectations of management.
For us, our most important stakeholder is not our stockholders, it is our customers. We're in business to serve the needs and desires of our core customer base.
With businesses, you go to the same places because you like the service, you like the people and they take care of you. They greet you with a smile. That's how people want to be treated, with respect. That's what I tell my employees.. customer service is very important.
I feel I'm able to serve my customer by knowing what she or he wants. One of the ways I'm able to do this is through my website, and email: people give me great ideas, tell me what they want, what they don't want. It's really instrumental, and helps me stay in touch with people.
This may seem simple, but you need to give customers what they want, not what you think they want. And, if you do this, people will keep coming back.