A Lady is patiently sitting on a bench waiting at the bus stop. Her name is Mary.
She has been waiting for the bus for a while.
A passerby asks Mary “How often does the bus go by?”
Mary says “Every 10 minutes”.
I ask because I noticed that you have been sitting here for a long time.
“Why are you still here?”
Mary looks up, sighs wearily, and points to a sign, that says, “ NO carry on allowed”.
The problem, Mary sighs, “Is that I have all this baggage with me.”
The passerby asks, “What is in your baggage that you cannot leave behind?”
I have all these memories and thoughts that I cannot let go off; my ex, my past jobs, the house I lost in foreclosure, thoughts of friends who deserted me when I had no job; bad relationships, lost confidence.
The passerby reflects and says to Mary “But those are all in your past the bus takes you forward you need to leave that baggage behind.”
Mary sighs heavily and says “But it’s hard to let go of the past!”
We can all relate and feel Mary’s pain. We all have baggage.
It’s what we do with that baggage that reflects on who we are and how we move forward and the life we will live.
We need to have faith and let go of the fear. We need to find new faiths, relationships and friendships.
We need to leave the baggage behind that keeps us from moving forward
Hold your faith Let go of your baggage, leave it behind, let it go.
Get on the bus and move into your future
Original idea from Sister Mae I
Somewhere along the way we lost the art of anticipation.
I often notice that when we do not anticipate we do not get to “the extra mile – above and beyond” it simply cannot happen. I notice this a great deal when it comes to “people” experiences.
I asked a group of folks recently what is the difference between customer: service, care, and delighting the customer. You can imagine that conversation! Do you know the difference?
I also asked who do you want to speak to when you buy a product? Is it the store or someone remote to the whole buying experience?
I also asked why is that we spend millions on customer service departments?
You get my point, if this was your business is this how you would run things?
Remember the last time you had to talk to customer service: The time when you punched a myriad of buttons only to talk to someone so geographically distanced that you wonder how did we get to this state in business today!
How is it that when we shop locally we speak to someone globally and so separated from the concept of “think and buy local?”
Does this concept add value to the customer experience or simply add cost! It is not often that I find it adds to a customer’s experience!
I also find that there is much to do when it comes to someone who is not your customer today but could be tomorrow!
I did an experiment on recruitment processes and wondered whether we would treat applicants differently if they were your next boss or a major potential stakeholder or future customer!!!
I got an answer that I did not like. Oh my! We need to understand that applicants can also be customers and they figure out pretty quickly how consistent your business practices work and how consistent your values are!!
I urge you to ask the questions I asked!
Is your business really “delighting the customer?” And do your employees really know what that means?
Hint: It is not what we do today for our customers that will bring long-term success it is what we anticipate that they will need tomorrow and the day after that is a business competence that will separate us from everyone else.
I am here to tell you its plain WRONG!
Here is why!
1. How dare you treat me like you want to be treated. You don’t KNOW ME that well.
2. I am an INDIVIDUAL in my own right and I like different things.
3. What turns you on may not turn me on and that DISENGAGES ME!
4. When you follow the golden rule it means you don’t even have to ASK me.
5. It’s the worst message on customer service. You ASSUME what I like and give me something I don’t want AND YOU THINK YOU DID A GREAT JOB.
6. When you stop thinking about what the OTHER person wants your customer service will never improve and NEITHER WILL YOUR BUSINESS.
7. Keep following the golden rule enough times I WILL TAKE MY BUSINESS AWAY.
I could go on but you get the picture. So why do we continue to follow the Golden Rule like Lemmings?
Treat me like I want to be treated ASK ME! That way you have a great chance of keeping me as a customer.
So go on, break the Golden Rule you will have some fascinating conversations and you will be amazed at what you learn.
I recently wrote about the seven sins and then the seven virtues of performance reviews, now I write about the Seven Capabilities that employees must have in order for the business to strive for the very best it can be.
* Problem Solving and Planning
The ability to solve problems and find solutions systematically; finds the best conclusions as a result of inclusive conversation with co-workers at all levels; Produces specific, measurable and achievable plans in order to deliver solutions.
Realistically predicts outcomes based on an objective review, evaluation and analysis of evidence; obtains the evidence and data which enables forecasts to be made; decisions not made randomly but on sound evidence and business insight.
* Financial Awareness
Understands and interprets numbers and makes the connections that lead to conclusions and decisions that form the base of actions.
* Communication skills
Be a great listener – listen to understand, competent on computer, paper, and telephone, good on their feet and constantly attempts to improve the skills of persuasion and connecting with others at all levels of the business.
Constantly seeks out improvement opportunities and seeks change for improvement to grow the business and the people who work there. Does not accept that Status Quo is necessarily the right thing for the business.
* Team Work
Are reliable and collaborative and supportive team players who look for opportunities to help; ask questions to advance understanding; participates in meetings; doesn’t wait to be told what to do- offers ideas and solutions.
* Customer Excellence and Quality Care
Knows the internal and external customer, anticipates their needs and requirements; produces realistic plans and programs to deliver results; constantly looks for way to delight the customer and improve quality of service. Displays a personal commitment to the customer.
Reminders that you never know who could be you be talking to.
Have any of these stories ever happened to you? A recent event made me think again about how people treat people!
- Went to the hospital to visit a family member. Asked the nurse can you call the Doctor for me? The reply was “this is not my patient area” Is that patient care?
- A Friend went for a job interview and was told “not hiring and if not buying” they needed to leave. Would you buy there?
- A Friend went to drop of an application wearing capris and flip flops and was told that if you come dressed looking like that, you will not work here. Would you ever feel welcomed?
- I will not hire you as I only recruit from friends and people I know. Why would you ever feel the inclination to buy there?
- I see you are here with your friends and have been here for a while talking are you buying anything, if not, you need to leave. What kind of experience does this business give?
- When sitting waiting to be served for food. The server you speak to says you are not at ”their” table and walks away. Then you have to wait. Would you ever go back?
- You go into a store and the assistants look at you and continue talking and after few moments come over and ask. “What do you want?” Is this great customer service?
- That when a friend applied for a job they never heard anything back at all. What kind of service would you feel that business would give you as a customer?
- You apply for a job and they say they will get back to you and never do. Where is the trust?
- That when a friend was treated badly as an employee yet the business owner is all “nice” with the customer. Do they walk the talk?
When a business owner or manager or employee does not understand that relationships are built on reputations and they treat people like this, can they expect to be successful?
Seems that there are too many people in business whether owners, managers or support staff that simply do not “get it” They will never be the people that will truly be engaged in making a business thrive. We need and deserve much better and so does our economy!
We all need to remember that we rely on others and we never know that the person we just “blew of” might have the greatest influence on your business and life!