The words rang out like a sharp blow to the gut. “You just got too comfortable.”
This is what Sharon’s client said to her when Sharon called to ask why her client was no longer doing business with her. Sharon had worked with Ben’s company for over six years. She had built her business around providing valuable services to her clients, and Sharon was accustomed to business rolling in the door like clockwork. Of late, it was not. Her profits were down, and she didn’t understand how a slowing economy was impacting her business so heavily. The customers were still buying, after all, but it seemed they just were not buying the same way that they used to.
In her desire to grow her business, Sharon had made a fatal error. She had substituted her presumed relationships with her clients for hustle. She realized in that singular moment that she had become complacent.
More than ever, customers expect business partners to hustle. In an age where information is immediately available, and products the same, it is no longer sufficient for companies (made up of people) to have a customer “on the books.” Customers expect partners to hustle and work hard and fast to earn their business every single day. Customers expect quickly returned calls (or calls answered in the first place), fast turnaround on requests, rapidly returned research results, and near immediate deliveries.
The Golden Rule still matters, and it is more critical than ever that we deliver service that would blow off our own socks. We must WOW our customers with outstanding service, earn their business every day, and always, always, always remember to thank them. Ask for their feedback on what we can do better. When they answer, take action. The best part of hustle is that you can do it right now. The impact of hustle can be immediate.
Ben gave Sharon a valuable gift when he was honest with her about his reasons for leaving. What will people tell you when you ask?
Have you gotten too comfortable?