By Rick Boxx
本文版權為正直資源中心（Integrity Resource Center, Inc.）所有。本文獲得授權改編自「瑞克．博克思的正直時刻Integrity Moments with Rich Boxx」。這系列的文章是以一個基督徒的觀點評論職場的正直議題。
省思 / 討論題目
根據你的經驗，應該將重心放在維持既有客戶，或尋求去吸引新客戶？你為何這麼想？ 顯然一個企業要增加新客戶才能成長。所以你認為公司領袖如何能在追求新的生意而同時確保目前顧客覺得適當地被重視且得到服務的這兩者間維持平衡？ 你是否曾把你的顧客想成如耶穌所謂的「鄰舍」？那會如何影響我們處理與顧客的關係？ 有一節經文告訴我們：「要詳細知道你羊群的景況」？你認為一個企業如何能用實際的方式將此方針應用在顧客──甚至我們的供應商和員工身上？ 註：若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文，請看：馬太福音25章14-30節；路加福音15章1-6節；以弗所書6章9節；提摩太前書6章17-18節；彼得前書5章1-3節
EASIEST CUSTOMERS TO GET – ONES YOU ALREADY HAVE
By Rick Boxx
Many business leaders love to go “on the hunt” for new customers. Perhaps there is the “thrill of the chase,” the excitement of identifying a new prospect. Then there is the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that comes from luring a customer from a competitor. For those having strong competitive impulses, this can be particularly exciting.
Obviously, adding new customers is important for growth. Sometimes we can increase the volume of business with existing customers, but to grow substantially it usually means expanding our customer base. At the same time we need to exercise caution. If we place our focus primarily on attracting new customers, existing customers may be overlooked in the process.
It is easy to take for granted those customers who have been faithful to the organization, assuming they are secure. After all, we might have been dealing with them for years. So why would they want to leave us? When we take this attitude, however, we not only run the risk of serving them poorly, but also can forget there are other “hunters” out there pursuing our customers while we are trying to attract theirs.
A time-tested principle of sales and marketing tells us it is easier to keep satisfied, existing customers than find new ones. Non-profits that depend on donors (customers) for financial support, for example, know it is much easier to retain a contributor that already believes in the mission than to attract new people to the cause.
This raises another question: Who is our customer? Some businesses do not restrict their “customer” label to those who purchase products or services. Customers, to them, also include employees and suppliers. In other words, everyone that participates in the company”s success.
This is a good business practice, but also is part of our stewardship before God. If He has blessed you with good customers, He expects you to value and care for them. Jesus told us to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). In other words, treating our neighbors – our customers – as we would want to be treated. How can we do this? Here are some biblical guidelines:
Be attentive to the needs of those in our care. If we concentrate too much on acquiring new business, we can fail to recognize critical needs of our existing customers. “Be careful to know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations…” (Proverbs 27:23-27).
Do not abuse those trusting in us. If customers are ignored or neglected, they may feel unappreciated and be lured away by competitors. “You have scattered my flock and driven them away, and you have not attended them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds,” declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:2).
Put yourself in the customer”s shoes. We, of course, are customers of other companies. How would we like to be ignored or pushed aside in favor of some new client? That is why Jesus instructed His followers, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
Copyright 2014, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from "Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx," a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective.
From your experience, where is most of the emphasis placed – retaining existing customers, or seeking to attract and acquire new ones? Why do you think this is so? Obviously a business grows by adding new customers. So how do you think company leaders can strike a balance between pursuing new business while at the same time ensuring current customers feel adequately appreciated and served? Have you ever thought of your customer as your “neighbor,” as Jesus defined it? How does that affect how we approach customer relations? A Bible passage cited tells us to “be careful to know the condition of your flocks”? How do you think a business can apply this guideline with customers – even our suppliers and employees – in practical ways? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 15:1-6; Ephesians 6:9; 1 Timothy 6:17-18; 1 Peter 5:1-3