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Consumers today have access to more choices than ever. They are now accustomed to getting the specific product they want, and they'll take their dollars somewhere else to get it. If this happens enough times, that customer might just be lost for good.

Personal attention is one way to stand out. Our customers need to feel that their individual wants and needs are addressed; person-to-person interaction is the most enriching way to do this. Customers crave interaction and information, and moments like talking directly with a butcher or baker over an order, or having an employee suggest the perfect cheese for an event makes a customer feel that your service is tailored directly to them.

This moment is so important because that personal interaction is one of the few things that cannot be provided by the internet. A customer can't taste products online. Whatever research they do can't include ideas they hadn't considered. Person-to-person interaction is the most important opportunity for businesses to meet and exceed customers' desires.

This makes the people in your company that interact with your customers an incredible resource to cultivate, especially those with specialized knowledge. A dedicated worker is an asset and making them view their work life as a career rather than simply a job is critical.

Someone can take or leave a job, but in a career, they look to grow and improve, and they become an ever-more-valuable asset. People can be another way a business will stand out from the competition. Just like you, when it counts, your customer is going to go to the baker they know is talented and dedicated rather than someone unknown.

People need to be your focus. Focus on the desires of your customers as individuals and supply them with personalized care and attention they can't get elsewhere. Cultivate the talent of your staff, build their dedication by investing in their training and growth, and inspire them to view your business as a place for their career. Don't just survive; thrive.