Are You Up to Date on Customer Thresholds for Service Delivery?

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We are seeing a lot of threshold alarms these days.  Highway freeways tell us “minimum speed 40 mph.”  It is a way of keeping horse drawn buggies off the road.  Minimum orders signal that only volume purchases are allowed.  Even Disney has threshold alarms that say a child must be “this tall” to get on a particular attraction.  As her two older sisters zipped past the “this tall” sign, it promoted my youngest granddaughter to say, “Tell them that scary things don’t scare me!”
 
Customers also have minimums.  Their pursuit of effortless, fast-paced service has shortened their wait clocks and adjusted downward their hassle monitor.  Their standards for letting service providers into their game has ratcheted dramatically up.  They have no tolerance for toil, no interest in insipid, and no patience of the pedantic.  And, when their mediocre meter goes off, they alert all in their cyber reach to stay away.
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Does your service process require hoop jumping?

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I once had a wonderful colleague whom I worked with as a co-facilitator of workshops with senior leaders.   He was a very bright and confident presenter who could lead a spirited discussion with the most challenging participant.  He also loved to tell stories.
 
His stories were typically long and detailed.  But, he never learned an important storytelling principle:  enchanting participants to join him on a long, detailed fable only works if the story’s punch line is insightful or compelling enough to make worthwhile the trip through its intricate details.  He has now retired and only worries about the attention span of his grandchildren.
 
Customers are a lot like workshop participants required to sit under the influence of a storyteller with a minutia problem.  Most service processes have service hoops customers are required to jump through.  Fortunately, customers are still willing to jump through hoops— but […] Continue…

Are Your Customers Free to Come and Go?

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Growing up on a cattle farm is a chance to see both the promise and perils of freedom.  For months cows leisurely graze, sleep in the shade, and drink water from a nearby pond.  In the winter when there is no grass, bales of hay are delivered to their “doorstep.”  But, when the time comes for cows to be transported to market, herding can become a challenge.  It starts out rather peaceful; but, as cows are moved from the open pasture into small holding pens and then forced to go into a loading shoot and onto the truck, it requires electric prods to convert their revolt into compliance.
 
Our culture is all about freedom.  Customers enjoy “grazing” in the fields of choice.  Today’s wired and dangerous customers relish having countless options and enjoy the security of personalization. And, when they are prodded to follow a lock-step freedom-limiting path, they quickly leave the herd for greener service pastures.  When they have[…] Continue…

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