Much has been written about the habits of highly successful people. What they do in the morning, what books they read or how they go to sleep at night.

But in my experience in business over the last 12 years, I found there’s one common thread among these highly successful individuals that we don’t talk enough about. It’s the way they think about their customers.

Successful people know their customers are the life and blood of their business. They know customer math. They know they need to build customer retention and loyalty into their business if they want to achieve long-term growth.

But highly successful people go a step further. They don’t implement customer business strategies just to make money and grow their business. They do it because of the compassion with which they think and feel about their customers.

#1 Highly successful people think of their customers with love and respect

There are successful people who build successful companies but who don’t respect their customers. They cut corners whenever they can and they hide the fact that they cut corners as much as they can.

Their companies grow, but only until a better, more honest competitor shows up, which is just a matter of time in today’s increasingly crowded marketplace.

On the other hand, highly successful people respect their customers and feel genuine love for them (yes, love). Often, the very reason why they started that company, or agreed to work for it, is because they want to improve lives and make a lasting difference. All other things equal, their companies often have nothing to fear when competitors pop up in their industry, because their customers are loyal.

#2 Highly successful people believe their customers are their equals

She knows that those interested in her work are people just like her. She doesn’t believe she’s superior in any way. In fact she believes she has at least as much to learn from anyone who listens to her as the person who listens to her learns from her.

This type of thinking frees her up to focus more on perfecting her craft and less on projecting an appearance, which will in turn make her even more successful.

#3 Highly successful people consistently prove they care about their customers

Rather than shouting out loud about their feelings of respect, love and fairness towards their customers, they prove them through their actions, without pride, with ease and with modesty.

They think long and hard about how their marketing communication makes their customers feel, not just how it makes their company look. They think long and hard about how they can make their customers feel as trusted partners, not as “buyers”, “users” or “data points”.

They stay grounded in their values.

In return, not only do highly successful people gain more loyal customers, but they also feel more fulfilled and more connected to their work, their mission and the people they’re trying to help. They feel more energized. They thrive, and so do their customers.

Originally published at