3 Ways to Apply Servant Leadership to Your Customersby David Ferguson
I am sure you’ve heard the term Servant Leadership before. From a Biblical perspective, it talks about the role model Jesus gave us in terms of how we should always seek to serve others (and by doing so, serve Him). The primary focus of Jesus was to provide service his followers. He provided the ultimate service of giving His life for our salvation.
So how can this be applied to a business context? I would suggest that the ultimate goal of your business should be to serve your customers and your employees. In this blog I want to specifically discuss a few ways to apply servant leadership to your customers (On how to apply servant leadership to your employees, read this blog post: Do unto your Employees as you do unto Yourself: 5 ways to improve your management of your team).
I think an easy way to become a service-focused business is to analyze every transaction as a process of giving versus getting. Generally, in business we are always looking to get something. We want to get the sale, we want to get a reference, we want to get an employee to work harder. Just reflect on some of the conversations and emails you had today…in each email you sent, your goal was to get something (even if it was just to “get out” of the conversation).
Now, let’s see how servant leadership changes the perspective of the transaction and I would say, makes you “more” successful at getting what you want. In each opportunity determine what you can give before you get. Here are a few examples:
You’re talking to a new potential customer for your product/service. You want to get their money (in the form of a sale). Once you get the money, you give them the product/service. Servant Leadership companies switch that up. If you give them the product/service first, I bet you will get more sales (I have proven this in my business). Sounds crazy right? I’m not talking about giving away your product or service for free (at least not all of it). Determine what you can give the customer that would be of service to them (before they buy your product). Here are 3 examples of how to apply servant leadership to your customers:
1. Give Information. Teach them how they should purchase what you’re selling. Explain the important factors related to your product/service and how they should impact a buying decision. The key is to do it with a servant’s heart. Do it in a way that is honest and may result in them determining they don’t need to buy your service (if, in fact, it’s not appropriate for them). This is being of service to your customer and showing them you want them to make a wise decision and you want to build a long lasting relationship with them. Give them information: white papers, presentations, webinars, videos, samples, any way you can communicate and inform your customers, do it.
2. Give Exceptional Service. Lots of companies talk about this, but servant leader companies actually do it. Go above and beyond for customers at all stages…before they become a customer, while they are a customer, and even when they are leaving you and no longer a customer. Set the bar high. Communicate and expect that everyone in your organization’s job is to go above and beyond. Exceptional service means not just promptly resolving issues, but also proactively serving customers by continuing to educate and by seeking to improve the benefit they get from your product or service. This will reap you above and beyond results. Be constantly giving.
3. Give Rewards. All your customers should get exceptional service (see #2) from you, but give your customers incentives/rewards in order to get great customers. Give a discount if they pay early. Give some perks if they refer you to someone else. Give them extra goodies if they are frequently buying your products and services.
I hope you see a lot of wisdom in the strategies above and if you haven’t tried any of them I encourage you to give it a shot. I leverage these 3 strategies in my businesses and I have proven over the past 15 years that they are extremely successful in generating long lasting customer relationships. Here’s a secret…it’s not my wisdom that came up with this giving principle, but it is straight from the Bible. Check out Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
This is one of my favorite Bible versus and just for good measure, I’ll give you one more to solidify this concept for your business. 2 Corinthians 9:6: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
I challenge you to give it a try. Give with a servant’s heart and give a lot and see how your business will reap generously and be overflowing with blessings. Ready to be a servant leader? Check back often and sign-up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any future posts about being a Jesus Led Business and other actionable steps to help drive your business.
And, in the meanwhile, continue to… Pray About It, Be About It, and Praise About It!
Thanks for reading and God Bless.