care

Stealing Business

…isn’t a good strategy because much like kids’ toys, it’s based on taking what’s not yours. Typically the tactics include acts of desperation...short-run price drops and deceptive offers to create attention and entice someone to change. The problem then becomes convincing someone to stay…because there’s always a better short-term deal. It’s a downward spiral leading to low quality, poor service and a legacy of trickery.

Alternatively, you could be in the business of creating something worth talking about and delivering what was promised. You could employ care as your strategy…caring enough not to take what you didn’t earn. And you could get busy making something that can’t be easily taken…trust.

Care Obsession

People notice caring. And analysis shows a clear correlation between caring and a person’s  willingness to pay a premium...through price, with their attention, loyalty and referral. 

Everyone and all organizations should care. But care isn’t easy. It requires thoughtful attention to detail…the kind of detail that exposes a clear focus on the receiver and not anyone else.  It requires emotion…the kind put forth by artists, people who do more than just show up, especially when no one is looking. It requires meaningful design…of processes and products that solve someone’s problem, perhaps one they haven’t thought of yet.

Care isn’t part-time. It’s not something you do just when most people show up…at prime time. It’s something you do all the time…and behind the scenes as well as on the main stage. It requires an obsessive focus by everyone in the organization all of the time in order to make a clear difference. 

If Care is built into your culture through everything you do…it gets noticed. It also gets noticed when you don’t. 

Arrive 5 Minutes Early

That’s all it would take…to deliver the unexpected…to change your image.

Imagine the power of making this statement..."I care more about you than me”. Imagine how this would foster trust, respect and friendship.

And it’s really not that hard. Assuming you already plan your arrival to be “on-time”, then you can certainly plan to arrive at a new, "double secret" on-time…that only you know about. And by doing so, you’re guaranteed to meet everyone’s expectation, every time. The free prize is that you’ll be there noticeably early…every time. And that’s unexpected…and it begins to send a message about you and your belief system, your core values, and how you set your priorities. And it shows that you care.

Give it a whirl…what’s the downside?

Dream Company

I’d probably call it Appelos...hybrid Apple and Zappos

It has nothing to do with computers or an internet store. It’s about their obsessions...

Apple- quality, innovation, design, spirit, growing the tribe

Zappos- employee care, employee dream fulfillment, customer engagement, pursuit of happiness

Obviously, both organizations have been very successful on every measure. But, they also both started at zero and went through serious dips before emerging into what we know today. The key takeaway is how they stuck to their core values and developed obsessions around them. They survived and made progress by ignoring popular trends and advice and simply (but not easily) doing flawless work. They executed their obsessions...and continue to do so.

Lesson...Write down your purpose, what you stand for. Develop obsessions and execute. There, that’s your business plan. Please go do something remarkable.

Reverse Customer Care

If your client had a blog, would you read it every day?

If your customers have blogs, do you and your team care enough to subscribe to them?

Why do you expect these same people to subscribe to your email newsletter or your Twitter stream when you don’t return the favor?

"I Like People"

is the response I most often receive when interviewing people for hospitality work. My guess...you hear it a lot as well. Interestingly, it's not how much you like people that counts most. It's how much people like you.

The most successful people are those which others naturally gravitate toward. The ability to demonstrate care and to deliver it in a meaningful way are extremely powerful. Some of it comes naturally...a friendly smile and positive approach to things. The rest you pick up along the way through experience and mentors...handling unexpected challenges, calm under pressure, etc.

Technical competence is necessary. You don't get far being dumb. But, the highest levels of success are achieved with more than smarts. They're attained by developing relationships, no matter if you're a waiter or a CEO. Hopefully, you have proof how much people have valued your hospitality. Perhaps you have a drawer full of thank you letters, a list of promotions or you can point to comments of appreciation on your Facebook page. Sometimes, it's more subtle...people want to work the same shift as you, or ride on the same bus.

Liking people isn't enough to get by on, especially if no one likes you.