A surprise to many business owners or leaders is the fact that their customers are not their most important asset. The most valuable asset you have in your company is your well-trained staff.
Happy and committed employees will build and maintain a strong customer base; disgruntled team members will do just the opposite.
Some of the most successful companies today have created employee models that seem frivolous and expensive, but the return in incalculable. Creation of a workplace Corporate Culture that is respectful of your employees while maintaining the bottom line is large part of your success. It guides how employees think, act, and feel.
Companies like Apple Computer, Ing, and Zappos have gone to extremes for their employees; you can even bring your dog to work. The fall-out from this is the line of talented people waiting to work for them. You can get the same results, on a smaller scale, with creative benefits that they'll value more than money. Studies have shown that money is rarely the prime motivator. Comp days, flexible schedules, production bonuses, wellness programs, unique, customized incentives, or at least a R&R area all lead to happy productive employees. In absence of these things, words of praise, respect, and compassion will work well. Empowerment is the key.
In turn, your employees will go out of their support to you. They will want to be knowledgeable, helpful, empowered, and courteous, This translates to an atmosphere where shopping, or whatever, is a pleasant experience. These customers and clients will tell their friends and that the word will spread.
These concepts should not be reserved for your management or sales staff. They should be applied to everyone from the janitor to the boss. Your goal is success and this is a very important component.