by Marcus Straub

No business can afford the negative effects on its customers — and, therefore, bottom line — from a lack of positive experiences. No matter the economic environment, customers matter. Unhappy ones tend to exert far greater effects on your reputation and business success.

With every interaction and transaction, a business imbues customers with a positive, neutral or negative feeling. The last two have no place in a thriving company. The first is a necessary component to happiness and success.

You’ve likely engaged businesses that left you wishing you’d never walked through their doors. Perhaps you encountered poor customer service, an inferior product or bad and uncaring attitudes. Even if your experience was a neutral one — neither negative nor positive — the business didn’t nurture your trust and loyalty.

In all likelihood, you also recall some experiences as a consumer that left you with a positive, if not a great, feeling. The value you received during these interactions endeared you to these companies, creating loyalty and repeat business. The money and time you spent was well worth it, and you walked away with a satisfied and happy feeling.

Where does the quality of the experience your customers receive start?

If you answered at the top with you — the business owner — you’re correct. You’re the leader of your company. This means your team members take their cues for behavior and performance from you. Your attitude and behavior set the standard in your organization.

When the owner of a business truly cares about people, they endeavor to provide team members and customers alike with the best experiences possible. These leaders understand when their teams feel good about the people and companies they work for, they impart those same good feelings to customers through positive attitudes and exceptional customer service. Leaders know their well-chosen and highly trained staff will follow their lead and strive to provide each and every customer a great experience.

The wisest business owners, those who lead rather than boss, hire people with good skills and — more important — caring and positive attitudes. These leaders create and maintain uplifting and supportive work environments that foster the positive attitudes of their fellow team members. By doing so, engagement goes up and team members feel they’re part of a team that consistently delivers a positive experience to each customer.

Along the road of business, you’ll encounter team members unable or unwilling to maintain a positive and caring attitude. In these cases, your best choice is to let these bad apples go. Negative team members are like a cancer within any organization, damaging the morale of the team, diminishing customer relations and ultimately hurting the business.

You’ll also encounter customers who are never satisfied no matter how well you serve them. They will always find something to complain about and some reason to bring negativity into your business. Just like negative and uncaring team members, toxic customers must be let go. Otherwise, you risk contaminating the positive experience your company provides and subjecting your team members to unjust treatment.

In return for receiving a good feeling from your business, most customers you serve will become fiercely loyal.

They will refer new customers and could even dispute any disparaging comments about your operation. All this affects the bottom line of your business. This will result in more sales and a feeling of accomplishment in providing a consistently high-quality experience.

Most customers and team members have attitudes that contribute to a positive two-way experience. When you hire people with great attitudes and then supply them with training, support and a positive work environment, you’ve set the stage for exceptional customer service — the kind that leaves customers feeling great about your business.

Give yourself and your business the gift of an honest self-appraisal.

If you discover your leadership style, team, work environment or customer service could benefit from the support of a qualified coaching professional, take that next step and invest in excellence. The success of your company and the happiness of everyone involved is on the line.


Marcus Straub is Founder and CEO of Life Is Great! (LIG) Coaching and Consulting, Inc. based in Grand Junction, Colorado. Serving individuals of all ages and companies of all sizes, in locations across the country and around the world, Marcus specializes in the development of customized, full-spectrum coaching programs tailored to meet the unique goals of each individual client. Purposefully created to guide those involved toward unprecedented personal, professional, and organizational growth, Marcus has become well-known for his straightforward approach and systematic techniques. An innovative coach, consultant, business development expert, corporate trainer, keynote speaker, and author, Marcus believes in the power of motivation to be inspired in the face of any given reality.