Happy Customers: A Three-Step Approach for Small Business Owners

I was recently asked the age-old question – Is the customer always right? Well, it’s not a simple yes or no, so I want to share three key insights that transformed my approach to customer relations.

You see, I built my Window Coverings business entirely on referrals, but it took me years to realize the underlying circumstances when a client felt she/he was right, and I was wrong. However, it wasn’t until I found the right mentor and began working on my personal growth and leadership skills that I truly understood my responsibility in the matter.

Here are my three biggest AHA moments:

Clearly Define Your Business Standards:

  • Create articulated business standards, response times, payment terms, etc.
  • Establish boundaries to avoid burnout – consider setting specific hours for communication.
  • Implement efficient project management systems and streamlined communication processes.

Result: I stopped answering my phone at all hours of the day and eliminated a lot of wasted time and unnecessary confusion.

Avoid Assumptions and Define Expectations:

  • Extend the “Measure twice, cut once” philosophy. Apply the importance of double-checking to customer expectations to prevent costly misunderstandings.
  • Nothing hurts your reputation more than your customers not getting what they thought they signed up for.

Result: Spending the time upfront saved me both time and money. More importantly, it created a better client experience and resulted in better reviews and referrals. 

Get curious!

  • It helps to be nosy (in the friendliest way possible) and get curious about your client’s needs.
  • Meaningful conversations help you understand what they really want and make creating custom solutions a breeze.

Result: Getting curious helped me build trusting relationships because my clients felt understood and valued. It typically also helped me create unique, customized solutions that I otherwise would have overlooked.

As mentioned before, I didn’t arrive at these insights on my own, I hired a coach who helped shine a light on my blind spots. I realized that the common denominator in all the fought interactions was me, and it was up to me to change what wasn’t working in my business.

I’ll leave you with this thought. We often hear it’s lonely at the top, but I’ve learned that it’s only if you make it so. When you surround yourself with the right people who can support your dream and show you how to get there, the sky is the limit for your success and your customers also feel they are right!

So, is the customer always right? Well, – It depends on your commitment to clarity, understanding, and consistent standards.


Else Johnson

Legacy Leadership Institute

VP of Leadership Development


PS:  If you know it’s time to change the way you do business but are not sure where to start, Jump on a call with one of our Coaches. I’ve been in that hole and so have every one of our Strategic Growth Community members, and we know how to get out. You don’t have to do this alone!


Leave a Comment