No, I am not channeling Martin Luther King. Rather, I started the New Year awakened from a very vivid dream, which I hope will provide some inspiration for my actions in 2015.
In my dream, I was brainstorming a new business with my three adult daughters. For some reason, we landed on a DIY home improvement business. Perhaps the fact that they always thought of me as a Tim Allen Home Improvement kind of guy had an influence.
We launched our business and were doing very well, had happy employees and satisfied customers. The company held employee team meetings at the end of every day, aiming on ways to improve operations. But, at one meeting, we brainstormed innovative ways to improve our value proposition. The solution was clear. We agreed to stop focusing on our processes and operations, and to turn our attention toward our customers. Our daily meeting became a conversation about what any of us could have done during the day to create a better experience for our customers. Simply, how could we create a “wow” experience for our customers?
In my dream, this change produced significant results. Our reputation soared. Word of mouth drove traffic. Customers raved about our company, telling friends about their noteworthy experiences in what would have otherwise been a pedantic, business as usual, transaction.
I then awoke. I was no longer sitting with the team, reflecting on the success we created. Back to reality.
But the dream had an affect. It inspired my new year’s resolution! Every time my company has a pre-engagement planning or project wrap-up session, I will try to bring a customer-centered mindset to the conversation. Imagine if every firm did this one thing. What a shift there would be in business culture; an exciting new view on the perspective for success. I can’t wait!
I am reminded of a company that set customer-centered focus as the heart of its mission.
“Do whatever it takes to take care of the customer.”
John W. Nordstom - 1901
According to Nordstrom, “We don’t like to make decisions about customer service in the board room. We leave it to the people closest to the customers. Our #1 rule is, “Use Good Judgment.” By not having a lot of rules, you empower associates to innovate and come up with solutions for customers.”
Here’s to 2015 – Let’s do whatever it takes to take care of the customer.