Our customers find us professionally boring when we are completely boring.
Over time, we gradually become less than enthusiastic about serving them. For a number of reasons. And our sentiments about our customers become very obvious. As a result, as the song goes: “The thrill is gone.” It’s a two-way street.
When current customers are good and bored with us, they are ripe for defection. Even when customer experience scorecards look good and satisfaction ratings are high.
How can this be?
Current customers find us professionally boring when we communicate three key behaviors. Let’s explore, shall we?
The first way we become professionally boring is because we are bored by what we do.
No matter whether we sell or engineer, serve or account for, are knowledge workers or manual workers. We become disengaged from our own Industry 4.0 job functions. Because we are overlooked for a promotion or pay raise, again. Or we identify a professional development pathway, but management and budget cannot accommodate our goals. Also, workplace culture is overpopulated by slackers, order-takers and toxic co-workers, rather than innovators and creatives.
Lack of professional opportunities erodes workplace engagement. When we are unengaged and bored, we do not pay attention to details and information critical to serving customers.
Think about the customer experiences we create when we are bored. Hmmmm?
Then, professionally boring workplaces create consistently mediocre levels of quality and productivity.
When we work in a mediocre work environment, everyone does enough to “get by.” Employee productivity is “good enough” and product quality is “sufficient.” Not only that. The majority of clients the company does business with are, yup, you guess it: customers satisfied by mediocrity. Isn’t this scenario simply wonderful?
Except when everyone in the workplace, consistently, does not pay enough attention to details. And information critical to creating consistent, high-quality output is not disseminated throughout the workplace. When it becomes obvious to clients that there is no sense of workplace urgency in serving them, they gradually relegate our company to a less-preferred status.
And as the saying goes: “Gradually out of sight, eventually out of top-of-mind.”
Finally, we become professionally boring to current customers because they get a wake-up call.
Over time, some of our bored clients realize that doing business with our boring company – and us, quite frankly – does not help them do business with their ideal clients. Why? Because their ideal clients target successful suppliers focused on customer success. And these ideal clients enlighten our bored clients.
Why should they keep losing opportunities and business due to reliance on output produced by bored suppliers? What is the customer success strategy in perpetuating that tactic?
When we become professionally boring to newly-awakened current customers, they jettison us.
First, our bored clients select a new set of non-boring suppliers. The types of suppliers who keep them on their toes. As a result, everyone continuously targets creating better and better solutions in serving one another.
Then, enlightened, formerly bored, employees move on workplaces allowing them to grow, develop and flex their professional muscles. Consequently, former employees are thrilled to target continuous professional improvement to better serve internal colleagues and customers.
Where do you fall within the three scenarios I describe today? What will it take, for you to move one millimeter beyond your comfort and boredom? Chances are, you are reading this blog because you are never content with mediocrity: from yourself, your workplace colleagues or your clients. What are you waiting for?
Take action! Move one millimeter beyond what is comfortable, towards what is Possible. Today. How?
- Hire me to speak or conduct a workshop at your next corporate or association event.
- Contact me. Let’s create a One Millimeter Mindset™ program that fits your needs.
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ speaking programs showcase how collaboration catalyzes purposeful personal development and business growth in today’s digitally transforming B2B and B2C environments. Create a more engaged and profitable workforce relentlessly focused on customer success and customer retention. Babette Ten Haken is a STEM design thinker, Six Sigma Green Belt and Voice of the Customer facilitator, forged by her background in new product development, startups, market research and sales. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her professional speaker profile appears on the espeakers platform. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
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