Professional Zen is a valuable professional characteristic to have. Especially when the goal not only is to acquire clients, but also to retain them. It becomes a matter of how we leverage customer experience, long-term.
The non-religious use of the term, Zen, describes a state of calm attentiveness in which one’s actions are guided by intuition rather than by conscious effort.
Making Professional Zen a professional innovation goal allows us to create strategic order, rather than perpetuate tactical chaos.
Think about it. Our Inboxes, schedules and workplaces represent a continuous bombardment of conflicting agendas and endless To-Do lists. What type of internal customer experience do we “experience”? Amidst the daily overwhelm of fulfilling KPIs and meeting quotas and deadlines, who has time for calm attentiveness and reflection? Not only on behalf of oneself. But also, on behalf of the customers we serve.
Successfully retaining customers, instead of continuously replacing them, is not a tactical customer experience exercise.
When we rely on external technological platforms to tactically prompt our next client interactions, we become robotic. We are “consciously” prompted to act, instead of intuitively pondering what is best in relation to each customer. Over time, our love of these tech platforms turn us into Pavlov’s dogs: reacting to stimuli, rather than being proactive because we are intuitive and insightful. Client experiences are not the result of their waiting around complacently – and statically – for us to receive our next tactical prompt. They are not a component of our technology platform input. The sustainability of their businesses is a long-term strategy.
Professional Zen happens when our thought processes become holistic, instead of linearly conditioned.
However, when we develop a relentless curiosity about the behind-the-scenes factors affecting each one of our clients, we apply intuition when seeking solutions. Because we read more about these causal factors, we identify common denominators running across different customer industries which experience similar issues. Not only that. We reach out and collaborate with internal resources, on behalf of our customers. Because we realize the value of working with other internal experts, instead of working on our own. We create and leverage the long-term value of distinctive, customized experiences in serving our clients.
When professional Zen occurs, we suggest and implement client solutions independent of anyone’s fiscal or selling cycle. Or tech platform prompts.
The goal of developing professional Zen is to create an ongoing customer experience. That is what customer retention is all about.
Consequently, the recommendations we make to clients are customized, distinctive and strategically impactful, geared towards the sustainability of their businesses. Rather than representing a tactical, self-serving, solution which meets our quotas and KPIs.
As a result, clients call us – even when there is no apparent business on the table. They ask: “What do you think about this?” and regard us as innovators. At that point, they stop using us as nothing more than human order-takers.
Clients are retained because of the continuous, collaborative value of the experiences provided by their partner-resources. Consider one of my professional speaking programs and workshops to determine the professional value of finding your professional Zen. Become more strategically insightful and enlightened, instead of remaining reactive and linearly-conditioned. Your customers will totally appreciate the change in your approach.
Start moving one millimeter forward towards professional innovation, today.
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Babette Ten Haken delivers her One Millimeter Mindset™ keynotes, breakout sessions and workshops to help individuals, teams, organizations and associations leverage productive and profitable collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention. Babette Ten Haken serves organizations as an inspiring speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. She is a STEM-trained scientist, corporate catalyst and design thinker. Babette’s playbook of collaboration tools, Do YOU Mean Business?, is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association.
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