Black people have to live by a different set of rules — interacting with police is a fine example. There are just some things that others can get away with that Black people can’t. The same is true in business and Black entrepreneurs must accept that reality. They must be better than everyone else and priority number one is customer service.
There are days when your product or service just won’t be the best. It happens. What you can always control, however, is how you react to any issue that arises; customer service is king. With a mediocre product and great customer service, you can take down a company with a superior product and terrible service. Are Chick-Fil-A’s fries and sandwiches miles better than every other fast food restaurant? Not likely but the service is amazing and people go. It doesn’t cost you anything to be pleasant, engaging and to take full responsibility when customers aren’t satisfied. Being defensive is never helpful — if someone points out a problem, take responsibility for it and quickly solve it for them.
Great customer service requires a radical shift of the mind. Not only do Black entrepreneurs have to remember that they cannot get away with things other can, they must also view entrepreneurship differently. Far too many think entrepreneurship is about freedom from a boss. More accurately, entrepreneurship is simply replacing one boss with many — your customers. An entrepreneur serves only at the pleasure of their customers. Absolutely NO one is obligated to spend their hard-earned cash with you. A customer’s money is sacred to them and as an entrepreneur, your job is to communicate to the customer you understand that. In other words, each customer should walk away feeling that you thought it was an honor to serve them.
Customer service has a cost and primarily it’s your pride. The customer is the boss, not you. The customer must be happy first and you secondarily. If the customer has a complaint it must be your first priority, period. Sure, Walmart, T-Mobile and host of others have trash customer service but you simply cannot get away with what they can. Sorry. Nothing will kill your business faster than poor customer service. If you are a Black entrepreneur, make it your obsession to prioritize each prospective customer and go the extra mile doing it. Excellent customer service will slowly help you dominate but poor customer service will kill you overnight.