Always Do Your Best for Customers
Serving customers is a privilege that must be earned daily. This privilege is granted on the condition that you, the service provider, will always do your best. Always. In most cases, there are no guarantees or long term commitments in business – you have to earn your business every day by doing your best.
Take Adversity With Grace – See the Silver Lining
We recently had a very significant customer come to us looking for massive cost reductions. The organization we serve is part of a larger national company and there was huge pressure from above to cut costs. The entire organization put all their label and packaging business out to open bid – everything was on the line. Relationships, service, history, special arrangements – none of this had a cell in the spreadsheet. It is all about the bottom line dollar. We were initially concerned and even a bit offended, but as we went through the process, we realized that we had to play ball or be left behind. Digging in our heels and relying on charisma wasn’t going to retain this business. We had to do our best for the customer – again.
Rise to the Occasion
After some hand wringing, we realized that this is an opportunity to become a better, more competitive supplier – for this customer and for all our customers. The work we do and the efficiency we realize by this exercise will benefit all of our current and future customers. We will force ourselves to get better – fast! A small crisis motivates people.
Spread the Work
We will run the press faster, with less waste, and fewer errors. We will hold each other accountable to be on our ‘A’ game every time we print for this customer. But we also pushed some of the pain down to our suppliers – they have to help us find these cost savings. Guess what – they have risen to the occasion too. With creative problem solving, more aggressive price, and reviewing options we hadn’t considered before, our suppliers provided most of the savings we were looking for. Together, we worked hard to always do our best for the customer.
Always Move Forward
The final bid award isn’t out yet. We don’t actually know if our bids will allow us to retain the business, but we do know that our business will survive and thrive regardless of the outcome. Each day we work hard to serve the customer. We always want to win, but sometimes you learn and grow the most from the ones you don’t win. Time will tell – we will be ready and we will move forward.
This is a great outlook on service: do everything you can for each of your customers, and do it with all of your customers in mind. If you lose a customer, you’ll gain five more because you’re always finding ways to offer a more excellent experience.
Thanks Mickey – I appreciate the kind words.