One of the most common ingredients of a successful business is how well the business treats the customer. Customers are vital and how customers are served is what sets one business apart from another. When discussing this concept in our Master Educator trainings, there is a reading that we often share.
“Because the customer has a need, we have a job to do. Because the customer has a choice, we must be the better choice. Because the customer has wants, we must be sensitive, considerate and friendly. Because the customer is unique, we must be flexible. Because the customer has high expectations, we must excel and be a fixer. Because the customer has influence, we must follow-up. Because the customer has the right to complain, we must treat complaints as golden opportunities. Because of the customer, we exist!”
In my days as a school director, this concept was extremely important to me. I wanted to ensure that the customer walking in the door was taken care of. I understood how important they were. I also wanted to make sure that our students understood this concept and we spent many hours talking about how to better serve the customer.
As much as I valued great customer service I misunderstood it. My focus was always on the customer coming in for services. However, there was another customer that I overlooked when it came to delivering outstanding customer service. I came to realize that this overlooked customer was even more critical to my business than the service customer, and that customer was the student. When I started focusing on the student as my primary customer, it changed my business. Students became more engaged, attitudes improved and completion rates got better.
I’d like to take a look at that reading again. But this time, rather than reading the word customer, replace it with the word student.
“Because the student has a need, we have a job to do. Because the student has a choice, we must be the better choice. Because the student has wants, we must be sensitive, considerate and friendly. Because the student is unique, we must be flexible. Because the student has high expectations, we must excel and be a fixer. Because the student has influence, we must follow-up. Because the student has the right to complain, we must treat complaints as golden opportunities. Because of the student, we exist!”
Students are the reason we all have a job to show up to each day. Let’s all be thankful for them.
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.