Despite the fact that I teach courses in both management and marketing, there are many crossover issues and one such is the importance of recognizing and acting on the needs of others.
During one exchange regarding the impact that cultures have on people, we discussed Trader Joe's. It is hard to imagine that Trader Joe's could be as focused on its customers if it did not treat its employees so well. Same is said for Zappo's. These firms have moved to the top of the list in customer endearment because they treat their people right by providing purpose and power to serve customers. This is the consistent theme that bubbles up over and over again with successful companies today.
Earlier this week, I had a guest in one of my undergraduate classes who drove home the importance of treating people right. Entrepreneur Van Deeb talked with students about how he "differentiated" his real estate firm from the pack when he opened the doors of Van Deeb Realty back in the day.
Deeb advised, "when you make people feel important, they will gravitate to you." He then described how he focused on the needs of his agents so they could focus on the needs of the firm's customers. He changed policies that were, at the time, the default practices of the industry. Things like how agents were compensated moving up commission checks from several weeks to a couple of hours! He also permitted agents to put their personal phone numbers on the yard sign so the prospective buyer could link directly with the individual who had first-hand knowledge of the property of interest.
Trader Joe's, Zappo's and Van Deeb all echo a consistent theme: serve the needs of others and business success is sure to follow.