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When interacting with customers or clients, there may be times when business leaders wish they could switch places with their customers, if only so the customers could view situations from their perspective. With their roles reversed, customers may develop a better understanding of why something went wrong or why certain things are the way they are, hopefully leading to greater customer satisfaction in the end.
But while entrepreneurs and customers can’t really switch places, they can share their points of view. Below, nine business leaders from Rolling Stone Culture Council each share one fact they wish all customers knew about running a business and the impact they think that knowledge would have.
Entrepreneurs Give Their Hearts and Souls to Their Businesses
I wish all customers knew how much passion most business owners have for products and services. Most business owners pour their heart and soul into their business. Therefore, running a business is truly an amazing opportunity to serve people in hopes of enhancing their lives. If customers could understand this, they might be a little more understanding when things do not go exactly as planned. There will be hiccups from time to time in any business. This knowledge could create a bit more empathy for the business and business owner. – Billy Carson, 4BiddenKnowledge Inc.
Business Owners Are Incredibly Dedicated
I’d most value customers understanding the dedication and ingenuity that goes into building a successful business from the ground up. Running Linktree is beyond just a job; it’s a critical element of my identity and daily life. When customers recognize this, it builds trust and goodwill, therefore inspiring our creators who understand the reason we get out of bed each day. – Anthony Zaccaria, Linktree
Running a Business Is an Imperfect Science
As a business leader, I have learned that we can be affected by extenuating circumstances, and that gets passed on to our customers. Expecting predictability at all times is a setup for failure. If there’s one lesson to be learned these last three years, it’s that businesses, like people, need help and support to pivot and flexibility from customers to support change. – Stephanie Dillon, Stephanie Dillon Art
It Takes Sacrifice to Get a Business Running
I would want customers to know the sacrifice and commitment it took to get the business up and running. Hopefully, this knowledge would encourage frequent buyers and consistent supporters once they realized how much sweat and how many tears were put into maintaining its upkeep, overhead and functionality. This, in turn, could be a key turning point for the increase of successfully run businesses as a whole. – Tiffany Gaines, SS Global Entertainment
Being a Business Leader Is Exceptionally Difficult
Running a business, especially a rapidly growing business, is fun, but also exceptionally difficult. There are many choices to make daily, and each one involves trade-offs. Most business owners are doing their best to build amazing companies and are working to balance the interests of their customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders along the way. – Dan Giuliani, Volt Athletics
Prices Are Set for a Reason
Customers buy from who they like and who they trust. However, many want free advice or discounted rates. Customers must understand our financial commitment as business owners and also the time spent to grow our brands and our businesses. This comes at a premium. Fees are based upon endless days and nights of working, many failures with a few successes and a continued need to better our craft. – Matt Campbell, My Wedding Songs
Constructive Feedback Helps
I’d love customers to know how important it is to provide constructive feedback to the owner directly. Getting customer insight is valuable to leveling up the product or service. It’s also equally impactful to hear what’s going well, in addition to what can be improved. A business owner oftentimes only hears complaints. Let them know the good stuff too, so they can pass on the kudos to their teams. – Traci DeForge, Produce Your Podcast
Leaders Have to Balance Social Justice and Financial Success
Most leaders care about social justice and equality, and want to create a good workplace environment where employees can thrive. However, we also have to make sure our company is financially successful so that it can continue to serve its customers and employees well into the future. This balancing act can be difficult at times, but ultimately it’s what drives most business owners and leaders. – Jeffrey Zucker, Green Lion Partners
Making Changes Isn’t Always Easy
There are so many moving parts to running a business that making changes has a cause-and-effect reaction — and not always a good one. Keep in mind we are human, doing the best we can. If there is something positive you want to share, always let the owner know. If there is something negative, most of the time you can just constructively email the business so they have time to reflect, address and implement. – Susan Johnston, New Media Film Festival®