I have been missing this trusty platform. I haven’t been here in a month. It’s not that I’ve been hold out in my basement playing Call of Duty eighteen hours a day. I’ve been doing what I think is some good work. Hopefully, somebody else thinks so too. (Santa – if my boss reads just one blog post from me, ever, can you see that its this one?)
But, that got me thinking about responsibility. Responsibility to all the people that have come to count on you. For each of us, that list will be different. So, I won’t bore you with my list. Except of course to say, that everyone that has ever read these musings I consider part of my responsibility to serve. And this year, I don’t think I’ve delivered the same level of service, the same level of commitment to you at this address as in prior years.
Business, life, customer relationships. They all grow more and more complex every day. That’s undeniable. For companies that continue to grow and add customers, your challenge to service those customers like you did when you were first starting out is exponentially more complex. So, as we hear more about the customer service bar being continually raised; about customers not being satisfied with what made them happy yesterday, I wonder if its not that at all.
I wonder if, maybe, just maybe, what we think is raising the bar is just a request to get back to what we used to do when we first started doing business with that customer. Have we gotten complacent? Did we fire out of the gate and then burn out?
I’m a huge Seth Godin fan. And through much of his writing, he encourages more people to just start something. And I agree. But the infinitely more difficult thing to do is to do that thing you started over and over again, week after week, year after year, for a life time.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned about customer service (and most other things in life) is you have to, in the words of another rock star Tony Horton, keep showing up, keep pressing “play”.
So, when you’re faced with that customer that seems to be complaining more, negotiating harder and generally not being as enthusiastic any more about what you’re brining to the table, perhaps a little visit from the ghost of relationships past might give you pause and a sense of recommitment to living up to those original expectations.
I thank you all for experiencing this ride with me over the past three years. Keep showing up. Keep clicking here. And I promise I will do the same.