About 18 months ago, my phone rang and on the other end was none other than Michael Gerber. OK, actually it was Michael Gerber’s assistant on the phone, but it turns out that Michael Gerber was requesting a meeting with me. A few days later that meeting came off; we spoke for about an hour.
In case you aren’t familiar with his work, Michael Gerber is one of the most successful business change authors in the world. His E-Myth series of books just keeps expanding and has sold millions of copies. Michael called me to investigate a joint venture with Answer Guy Virtual COO Services, and also to tell me that he hated the black theme of our web site.
Our theme is still black. Michael Gerber and Answer Guy Central never worked together. But the principles behind The E-Myth are sound, and recently I came across a blog post by Derek Sivers that pointed me to a page where Mr. Sivers credits Michael Gerber’s E-Myth Revisited for much of his own success and calls one of the most important tenets of business change front and center.
Sooner or later, every business owner faces the moment when he has to decide between trusting others and stopping the growth of his business dead in its tracks.
Derek Sivers’ story has a happy ending; he sold his company for a bunch of money after making the business changes necessary to allow for growth that made his business worth buying. But in reading his story I noticed something else.
The business changes that Derek Sivers made allowing his company to grow were focused on providing better customer service.
Whether you need to get control by setting customer expectations, you’re seeking a customer service model to follow, or just want to make sure you stay off The Answer Guy’s Customer Service Wall of Shame, customer service matters to your business. It’s always been true, and in the world of The E-Myth, it’s even more so; customers like being taken care of; it’s what brings them back.
Later this week I’ll tell you about a salesperson who made a multi-million-dollar sale, earned a huge commission, was well thought of, and then made a “customer service” offer that all but guaranteed she’d not only never receive a recommendation, but be spoken of poorly.
Take your customer service efforts seriously. Delegate, delegate, delegate. And read a Michael Gerber E-Myth book. It could change your business, and your life.