Yes, customer is king but workers are king makers

Last week I entered a restaurant in one of our major towns for lunch. The staff were very cold. I sat down and requested a menu and a worker placed it on my table and walked away without saying a word or looking at me.

I looked around and realised there were only three customers in the dining area and I was the fourth one. Only one customer was taking a meal.

I briskly walked out after reasoning that if it was lunchtime and there were no customers something was amiss.

Across the road, I entered another restaurant and it was a hive of activities. The staff were pleasantly welcoming and I got faster attention although they had many customers.

It is not uncommon to find two or more businesses located in the same locality, similar building and similar customer catchment areas getting different results.

This proves that the difference between one business, be it a school, salon, hospital or hardware and another is not the location or building or equipment. It is the human factor.

Human factor in simple terms is the impact or the role employees play in the success of an enterprise.

Naturally, you start a business with a vision and a product to offer to customers. You must satisfy and delight your customers so that they can part with their money and keep coming.

However, you cannot do this alone. You have to engage employees to help in making your dream a reality.

You must make your employees do all what you would like to do but lack time and capacity. This is what Warren Buffet calls multiplying yourself.

He says that the most important thing in the matrix of business success is the owner’s ability to multiply themselves through the employees they hire.

Employees are to a business what ambassadors are to a country they represent abroad. They must be cut from the same cloth.

Quite often were are blinded by the narrative that in business customer is the king and forget the king maker – the employee. We forget that we cannot have the king without the king maker.

Actually, the most important person in business ought to be the employees who by default determine whether the customer will smile or frown.

As a business owner, you cannot be everywhere and do everything to serve your customers without help of your employees.

Most businesses make the grave mistake of thinking they can treat customers well without taking care of employees. The level of customer satisfaction is a reflection of employee satisfaction and by extension the owner’s ability to multiply themselves.

This is because unless you are man solo, your only way of reaching out and servicing a customer is through employees.

If you focus on making your employees happy you don’t have to care much about customer happiness.

A happy and motivated employee will delight customers and grow your business.

You might be equal or better than your competitors but if you can’t multiply yourself by hiring competent and motivated employees you will remain the underdog.

Mr Kiunga is a business trainer and the author of The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market

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