5 Easy Ways Businesses Improve The Lives Of Their Customers
A curious mind once wondered how companies like KFC, Coca-Cola, IBM, and Apple were born. The same curious mind also wondered how these companies grew so big and popular.
A related question raised by the same curious mind is 'why'? Why are businesses formed in the first place? Hang on, the answer to this is easy I thought. “Maximizing profit”. But the curious mind went to work again. It said “this is a tricky one. Maximizing profit is good, but businesses that go the extra mile gain so much more”. They gain a fantastic global reputation amongst other benefits”.
Now, if this was a jigsaw puzzle, I cracked it (well, sort of). By figuring out what businesses that connect with customers in authentic ways do. Beyond maximizing profit, they go the extra mile. Going the extra mile here means everything good, including giving back. Giving back to customers, their host communities, and other important stakeholders.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi
The curious mind agrees with Gandhi and me on this. Businesses can rise above making profit alone to impacting lives by:
Businesses can impact lives by sharing knowledge with members of their host communities. Again, the curious mind is wondering if trade secrets can get into the wrong hands by doing this. Well, not to worry dear curious mind, no trade secrets get lost this way. Here is a good example of how to give back. A Business that owns an assembly plant volunteering to teach mathematics in a school.
Businesses hire employees and pay them in return. When they do this, they do not only fulfil their role, as stated in employment contracts. They also help the economy in their immediate environment. The employees' income then becomes wages to nannies or other services providers. As these employees spend on their different needs, they oil the economy. Businesses give back by creating direct and indirect employment.
This is one of the ways Companies impact the lives of their customers. Companies used to be quiet on social issues, but not any more. They're now advocates because they have customers who are social beings. These same customers live in communities and societies where there are several issues. Companies give back by financing bodies that advocate for their customers. They gain goodwill when they do this.
Companies should pay taxes, not because skipping tax is a criminal act. Paying taxes is one of the major ways states and governments get funds. The state is able to fund security, healthcare, education and other important things. In other words businesses help states and governments function when they pay taxes. There will be no organized society without this input from businesses.
Sustainable Business Practices
One last one, before the curious mind raises it. Companies impact the lives of their customers when they introduce sustainable business strategies. This means they're managing resources and doing business in ways that don't put future generations in danger.
Using less paper and more eco-friendly resources impact the total well being of customers. When businesses sponsor tree planting events, they are giving back. When they sponsor a youth music group or female sports team, they are impacting lives.
Keeping Brand Promise
Now, the curious mind is thinking about how businesses get burdened with all these extras. The curious mind's concern is about how major objectives go pale in the light of all the distractions. When do Companies get to pay attention to service delivery and customer delight?
Here is the thing. Companies that want to give back must begin by keeping their brand promise to customers. This is the biggest way to impact the lives of their customers. Skipping this bit to focus on another will be counterproductive to any business.
Companies should delight customers with its products and services first. Then giving back or impacting customers' lives through other channels will be a bonus. The curious mind agrees that businesses should do what they say and say what they mean always.