Last weekend I walked a familiar loop track.
I usually head upriver, across the foot bridge, then down river, climb the hill, cross another bridge, then home. Last weekend, on a whim, I reversed the loop.
Interesting experience – seeing the familiar route from a different direction and perspective.
I saw fisherman trails I hadn’t noticed previously. I enjoyed the lookout point at the start of my walk, rather than at the end. The climb and descent seemed to require less effort.
That got me thinking – what if we intentionally viewed the familiar from a different perspective?
The Mystery Shopper
The mystery shopper strategy is where you ask someone to anonymously visit your business to shop or to make an enquiry as a prospective customer to get their feedback. How quickly were they served? How were they received? What was the outcome? Was it a good experience? Would they become an advocate or a detractor for your business?
Then ask yourself, how can you improve the customer experience?
Onboarding and Customer Touch Points
Converting a prospective customer is like courting, you present your best bits at the outset. Then comes the “marriage” when imperfections are noticed.
From a business owner’s perspective what did you promise? Did you deliver on time and on budget? How was the onboarding process? Did you provide after sales support? Will the customer buy again? Was the customer a good fit for your business?
From a customer’s perspective – did you require more time / energy / training than anticipated? Were you a high or low maintenance customer? Were you prompt with your responses and did you follow instructions? Did you pay on time?
Both the customer and the service provider have a responsibility. Both should proactively communicate their expectations, needs, and deadlines. Don’t expect the other party to be a mind reader. Communicate, communicate, and then communicate some more.
Walk in Someone Else’s Moccasins
It’s natural to see things from our own perspective and paradigm. But what if we walked in someone else’s moccasins?
We know what we meant or thought we said – but how clearly did we communicate that to the other person? Review your emails with fresh eyes. Was it unambiguous? Or were you expecting the other person to “know what you meant”?
When frustrated it is tempting to vent, which can damage relationships. My mentor’s advice is to first ask yourself – does what I want to say…
- Need to be SAID?
- Does it need to be said by ME?
- Does it need to be said NOW?
- And will it change anything anyway?
If the answer is “no” to any of those questions – then DON’T say it!
Instead, take a different perspective and approach.