If I operated a ski resort I would ensure that every member of my staff who A. works on the hill and B. interacts with guests, wear a fanny pack with duct tape, ski baskets (for the bottom of poles), chap stick, a screw driver, a lighter, two spare trail maps and a few power bars and one emergency bottle of water, to hand out to whomever might need them.
This awesome innovation in the client experience is incredibly easy to do and affordable to implement.
I was in Banff last winter skiing and I lost a basket off the bottom of my pole which makes it pretty useless, and right or wrong most of us can’t ski without poles. After all, without poles what would I lean on when I groan “Geeeeeeeezussssssss” while my knees recover from a pitch of moguls?
When I lost the basket I was miles from the chalet and I wanted to avoid wasting up to an hour to go replace it. I saw a patroller near a little shack at the lift and I asked him if he might have an extra basket. He didn’t.
“What? What did you think I was going to do about it?” is what he asked me, then, “We have baskets in the store … We’re in the business of selling baskets (buddy) not giving them away.” This is where he and I disagree.
I think he is in the “Making people happy” business. I think to a certain extent that’s the business we are all in. Imagine if Mr. Patroller would have spun his pack around, rooted around in there for a moment and handed me a basket – he would have been my hero.
Clients have crises every day and while they may not ask for it, they need and appreciate help. You can’t always help them – but when you can, and when it’s easy, you have to as these are the best opportunities to demonstrate your commitment.
When someone pays you they are saying “I expect you to do what you said you would do. It’s a deal.” When you deliver, when you perform, when you produce you shouldn’t expect a standing ovation, or anything above a polite thank you when you complete your work.
However, when you bring art to your delivery – when you master the basic game then add top spin, then you have something that is worth talking about.
I once spoke about my painter Dan and I’m going to bring him up again.
I hired Dan to paint a rental property that I own. Dan showed up and toured the house. The next day he gave me a proposal outlining what he would do, when it would be completed, and finally what I would pay.
At the time I was also showing the property to prospective tenants, and each time I would apologize in advance for the painter, imagining ladders and buckets and paper coffee cups all over the place.
However, every single time I went into my house, usually after 5 to show it to potential renters the house would be spotless. All of Dan’s tools were laid out, like a surgeon, on a single drop cloth. None of his instruments were touching. He was careful and precise.
This happened a few times over the week, and I’m sure that his work space made enough of an impression to actually help me rent it out. When he completed the project, on time, he sent flowers to my house to thank us for the contract.
Dan understands something that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t. It’s not what you do, but how you do it that matters.
Do what you say you are going to do. Get it completed on time, or early if possible. Complete the work with attention to details, and process.