On your journey of conscious entrepreneurship, I wonder if you've noticed the duality that I've seen when it comes to "going the extra mile" for your customers and clients... or not "going" at all.
Last month, I had the great pleasure of meeting Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com. Under Tony's leadership Zappos grew their gross merchandise sales from $1.6M in 2000 to over $1 billion in 2008 by focusing relentlessly on customer service. Literally, Zappos.com has been built on an incredible company culture and on customer service that beats all customer service. This is a company that goes far beyond the extra mile to keep their customers coming back over and over again. And, it's making a huge impact on their bottom line.
The other end of the spectrum seems to be companies who believe their successful status allows them to be less customer service driven, and more about the distance they create between themselves and their customers/clients... the philosophy being that the more unreachable the company is, the better it is for elite positioning in the marketplace.
And, here's my two cents on this topic, based on my own experience...
Go The Extra Mile
I'm a firm believer in going the extra mile. Perhaps it was my childhood experience as an arts 'n crafts facilitator at the local park (constantly trying to do the best thing to keep parents and kids coming back for more), or my later experience as a fitness trainer who kept my clients for years rather than months (like most trainers). But, somewhere along the line I learned that going the extra mile works wonders... and resonates more with my philosophy than the "keep your distance" approach to business.
Here are a few examples from my recent experience that may help drive this home for you:
At the inaugural Freedom Formula Experience this past January, I told my event manager I wanted to be in the seminar room on Thursday morning when the doors opened to allow attendees in. She was a bit surprised because she hadn't had that request before from other clients. Most of her clients stayed back stage until they were formally introduced at the front of the room.
But, for me, it was important to greet my seminar attendees and connect with them prior to taking the stage. They travelled from across the US, Canada, Australia and the UK to be there, so it only felt right for me to say "hello" as they entered the room. The surprise benefit was hearing from everyone how much they loved seeing me there giving out hugs; and it gave me a HUGE boost of energy and enthusiasm as I took the stage that morning. Going the extra mile served them... and me. Everybody was happy!
I have the great pleasure of working with 24 of the most incredible entrepreneurs in my Freedom Circle Mastermind; one of whom happens to be a Twitter expert. Well, if you read about my experience as a "Twitter snob" you know Twittering is a whole new world that I'm learning bit by bit. It just so happens that most of my Freedom Circle clients are also Twitter challenged... so I decided to "go the extra mile" and do something about it.
It was so simple (and obvious) how I could serve everyone on their Twitter journey. I simply asked my client, Julie Isaac (the Twitter genius), if she'd allow me to interview her about Twitter and we'd invite everyone in my Freedom Circle mastermind to attend the interview. She was ecstatic about the oppor^tunity to begin teaching what she knows about Twitter; I was thrilled because I was going to learn more about how not to be a Twitter snob; and all of my coaching clients were so happy they got to learn about Twitter especially because it was an unexpected bonus that was above and beyond what I'd promised them in the Freedom Circle Mastermind. Again, going the extra mile served everyone involved... it was a win/win/win all the way around.
I share these examples only to get your mind thinking about what you want your approach to be, and what you can do to solidify that approach. So, if you're aligned with "going the extra mile" I encourage you to take a look at your current customers and clients, and identify at least one thing you can do to "go the extra mile" to help them succeed today.
© 2009 Christine Kloser
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