Let’s be realistic – all businesses need customers to survive and thrive; that has been the requirement since bartering first began.

So, ask yourself this question: are you focussing on the right customers?

This may seem like a surreal question, but is it really? You see, all businesses – including self-employment (because of course, you are the business), have two types of customers: internal and external.

Yes, you’ve heard that before I’m sure. However, most businesses focus on the wrong type first – the external ones.

Why? Because naturally they supply the income for the business. Obviously they are an integral part of your business, but who serves those customers?

Answer: either yourself, your team, or a combination of the two.

Richard Branson once said: “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers.  It’s that simple.”

Let’s be realistic here, Richard Branson has been very successful with most things he has done, so he knows a thing or two about this subject.

So why focus on your staff? Well, they are the trusted individuals who represent you and your business to your customers.

Why is that important? These dealings will either make or break you as a business.

Will Rodgers once said: “It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.” This, of course, is very true, and why is your reputation so important?

Let’s look at some stats:

  • 74 percent of customers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.

(Source:  Ogilvy/Google/TNS)

  • 92 percent of customers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.

(Source:  Nielson)

  • Millennials ranked word of mouth as the #1 influencer in their purchasing decisions.

(Source:  Radius Global)

  • 68 percent trust online opinions from other customers.

(Source:  Nielson)

  • 72 percent say reading a positive review increases their trust in a business. 

(Source:  BrightLocal)

Therefore, it is vital to look after your customers and do it with a highly trained and motivated, happy team.


  • 89 percent of companies see Customer Experience as a key factor in driving customer loyalty and retention.
  • Existing customers are 50 percent more likely to try new products and spend 31 percent more when compared to new customers.
  • Increasing customer retention rates by five percent increases profits between 25 percent to 95 percent.
  • It costs a minimum five times as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one.

(Source: Invesp)

  • Happy customers might tell nine friends, unhappy customers, on average, tell 16.

(Source:  Groove)

After reviewing those stats, doesn’t it make sense to make sure that your team are well looked after? After all, they are the ones providing the service to look after your customers, which ultimately, will look after you.

Symptoms of problems include:

  • Low morale within your team
  • Bad reviews being received about your company
  • Lack of retained business (depending on the type of business you have)
  • High staff turnover

If you are experiencing these types of issues, then maybe now is the time to address them.

The individuals doing the roles are the best people around to let you know how things are going and what can be improved. So, are you listening to the experts?

If the answer is no, how do you know if you have your finger on the pulse of the business? If yes….fabulous, and no doubt you are reaping the rewards.

This is not to say that the team will dictate company policy or anything. However, they may be able to give you some clarity on potential issues that can easily be resolved and make your business more profitable.

A total of 81 percent of employees state appreciation as their biggest motivator.

  • (Source:  Glassdoor)

On a final note, let’s have one last quote from Richard Branson:

A company is people – employees want to know, am I being listened to or am I just a cog in a wheel?  People really need to feel wanted.”

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