It’s Saturday night and we were meeting with friends at Kovalam’s famous Hawa Beach (3rd Beach). The plan was to enjoy a seafood meal at one of the beachfront shacks that line the length of this popular tourist destination.
We walked along the tiled walkway that separates the restaurants from the beach, to check the sights and the available seafood. The walk had made us thirsty and a chilled beverage was the need of the hour. We had made a short-list of the restaurants to choose from after checking the stuff on display. A restaurant that wasn’t crowded got our vote – Well, most shacks had a handful of diners because this is the fag end of the tourist season, with the weather getting hotter each day in Kerala.
The Service Staff who ushered us to our seats had a warm smile and made us feel welcome. All of us noticed it, but it was my wife who captured the essence of the experience while we walked back to the car after 2-3 happy hours of chatting, drinking and gourmandising:
“One doesn’t need a degree in Hotel Management to do a great service job. Till what Class you think that guy has studied – not even High School, I guess. But, just look at the way he remembered to do and say the right things at the right time. Fantastic! He made our visit to the place worth remembering.”
How does one teach Service Staff such things?
I’ve been to so many fine-dining restaurants and received such indifferent service. The staff usually treat visitors with such disdain. They somehow fail to think long – term or from the customer’s point-of-view. They are busy doing a job.
So, what did Johnny do that made us feel different? No, this isn’t Johnny as in “Johnny-come-lately” or “Some Johnny”; that is his name! Mr.Johnny is special.
He wasn’t wearing a starched uniform or speaking in a clipped accent, but most wait staff at Kovalam know a smattering of English thanks to the interactions with 1000s of foreign tourists. He didn’t have slicked-back hair and his grooming was ordinary. But, all that just didn’t matter. He overwhelmed us with Care!
He suggested the best fish and the preparations that would suit our palate. When the food arrived he placed the food ordered at the right places, having remembered who had ordered what. Even when he was far from our table I noticed him glancing our way to check whether the glasses had beverages in them. He was not only keeping us happy but ensuring that the restaurant got more business. It was smart thinking!
While we ate the food Johnny stopped by to refill the plates and then asked the ladies whether the preparations had come out right – “How does it taste, Madam? Is everything okay?”
Post the meal his question was “Did you enjoy the meal?”
And after we settled the check and rose to leave he asked “Next time you aren’t going anywhere else? Come straight to our place and we will ensure that you have a good time.” Bingo!
It was a clever thing to say, but it also meant that he had heard us discuss the other restaurants on the beach. My wife and I had been telling our friends, who are from out-of-town, that we come here often and the other shacks serve good food too. He wasn’t lurking to gather juicy titbits from our conversation, just that when he visited our table the relevant bits of our exchanges stayed in his head to be used at the opportune moment. It is a useful skill.
Isn’t it plain common sense? I mean … Customer Service:
- Receive the customer with a smile
- Help them make the choices
- Suggest without sounding opportunistic
- Be around to help
- Sense the mood and the need
- Keep the interaction going without intruding
- Check whether the customer is happy
- Be there to help throughout
- Confirm that everything went well
- Sign off in style
- Tell the customer that you look forward to seeing them again
Johnny did all that with such style and he had not been taught any of it. He just picked it up along the way. He might just blink if one were to ask him about CRM, CLM and CSAT.
But he had what is took …. Service Attitude. The books tell you everything you wish to know on the subject but ultimately service is about sensing, feeling and doing.
The bill was not a small one but we were beaming as we walked away!
Johnny proved once again that ….. Good Customer Service makes great Business Sense!
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(Part-1 of a 3-part study on Customer Experience. )
That title may sound counter-intuitive because from childhood we have been told that “courtesy & manners maketh the man”!
It was Priya’s long-cherished dream to own a car and the urgency of that desire grew in recent times due to circumstances that will be explained in due course. She didn’t have much travelling to do and hers was a desk-based job; taking a cab or a rickshaw to work and for the recreational trips to town would have seemed like the sensible option going the spiraling fuel and living costs. But after joining a software company last year she found even the new recruits coming to work in their own shiny cars while she as Manager was still using public transport. She imagined them making jokes at her expense and decided to correct the situation. Husband Mr.Prakash was given the mandate to get her a suitable small car – something that wasn’t a gas guzzler and would be easy to drive around. Not that she wasn’t going to pay – but having no clue on how one went about choosing and buying she left it to the more experienced person. Prakash was to do the leg-work and tell her when there were papers to sign.
Prakash had always used Hyundai cars because the dealership had given him excellent support and the cars had been trouble-free – but Priya’s friends recommended a Maruti, good mileage and low maintenance they said. After doing the rounds of the dealerships in town they zeroed in on two models, one from each manufacturer. The cars were pretty evenly matched – the prettier Hyundai model was offset by the better mileage of the Maruti. But then there was a clincher offered by Rajeev, the salesman from the Hyundai dealership.
“Sir, we have a few pieces of our previous model – it isn’t much different from the new one, but it’s stock that’s been with us for 3 months. So, I can offer you an additional discount of Rs. 20,000 for it.”
Now, that was huge! The Maruti’s advantages seemed to pale when this discount was factored in. Prakash convinced Priya that it was worth accepting and that she should think no further.
It was Prakash who took the lead and visited the showrooms for initial discussion, it was he who test drove the cars and he also did the necessary paper-work to acquire a loan for the purchase.
Rajeev was a courteous guy. He had a pleasing manner and when asked he provided all details. When pressed for discounts he obliged with a waiver of Insurance Charges and threw in some accessories as freebie too. He had also topped it with the discount offer on the older version.
Although Rajeev was affable and courteous during the interactions Prakash found it extremely difficult to get through to the man on the phone. During the 3 week long process he always had to call more than once to get through and never found his calls being returned when there was a busy tone – he invariably had to call after a while. Text messages were responded to only after a reminder was sent.
After the purchase was finalized Prakash has to run to the dealership to submit papers because Rajeev never seemed to have time to make a visit. The incentive of the extra discount kept Prakash and Priya from cancelling the deal.
On the day prior to the registration Rajeev mentioned the need of a document for submission to the Transport Authorities’ Office. He said it was necessary to complete the process – this had not been mentioned earlier. Prakash was livid but couldn’t do anything because they were too far gone to cancel the deal. The registration was delayed by another week while they got the necessary paper and it need not be emphasized here that the buyers were thoroughly disgusted.
When Rajeev was asked why he did not have a proper checklist that would make the process clear to the customer he said that most people knew and that he was surprised Prakash did not know.
The customers drove away with the car with mixed feelings – they wondered whether the whole process had been worthwhile. To make a saving they had had to undergo a lot of stress, all thanks to Rajeev’s inability to understand and respond to his customer’s needs.
Rajeev could have made it a happy experience for Prakash and Priya by doing a few simple things.
- Answer phone calls promptly
- Respond to customers requirement with speed and clarity
- Proactively understand the customer’s expectations and meet them
- Sense the customer’s feelings (positive & negative) and respond empathetically
- Have absolute clarity on the Sales Process and deploy it appropriately
- Tell the customer in advance what is expected from them at each step so that there are no surprises
- Not take the customer for granted
- Check with the customer at each stage to confirm that they are satisfied
It is great that Rajeev has a pleasing personality and good manners, but that is not enough. He has to ensure that he performs the role of Sales Professional too.
Courtesy + Performance = Great Customer Experience
(The next 2 parts will deal with the Car Loan and the Sales Fulfillment processes.)
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“Samsung Service, Good Afternoon!” That’s a fair start, I thought.
The caller’s requirement – Location of their smartphone service center at Cochin (given the number of phones being sold these days they would certainly have more than one in the city.)
“I am calling from Cochin. Can you give me the address of your Service Centre here?”
“Certainly, Sir; but can I take a few details in order to help you?”
“Sure, go ahead” said I.
These are the questions he asked:
“May I know your name, please?” (Valid question .., Answered.)
“What is your contact number?” (Was answered too)
“What is your alternate number?”
“Hello! Why would you need that? Sorry! Can’t tell you that.”
“What is your email ID?”
By now I was really worked up – puffs of smoke emanated from my nostrils each time I exhaled.
“Why do you need an email ID to tell me the location of your service center?”
This guy had the cheek to say – “We want to send you details regarding our products and offers.”
“Excuse me! I did not call you for offers. Are you going to give me the address or shall I cut the call?”
The man is not fazed, nor is he apologetic; he just carries on …
“What phone are you using?
I replied “Samsung Galaxy Note – the first model, not the new one”. That was sufficient, or so I thought.
“What is the model number?” (I obliged)
“When did you buy it?” I really lost it – was just a blink away from having a blue fit.
“Are you going to give me the details or not?” This question was delivered with a lot of self-restraint.
“Sir, what is your Pin Code?”
I told him because that would help him identify the location nearest to me. After a few seconds:
“Sir, you can go to Muvattupuzha … please take down the address and phone number!”
I exploded, could not stay composed after that.
“Muvattupuzha is 50 kilometres away, my friend!!”
I had added a few kilometers to give a round number but it was a different city, a suburban town actually. I was located in the heart of Cochin and there were at least 2 – 3 Service Points in this city.
“I thought you had confirmed my location with the Pin Code; why are you asking me to travel to another city? I am sure you have centers here.”
“Sir, can I place you on hold while I get the details?” grudgingly I agreed.
I waited for a minute and a half listening to some terrible tune and then cut the call.
The Service Center had my phone number and email ID but they did not call back to apologise and provide details did and I got no email with the necessary information.
- Isn’t this a lesson for people involved in Service?
- Can you permit the Service Staff to get away with such behavior?
- Should you be training your Service Staff to do this?
- I am aware that gathering information is important, but how much?
Is it necessary to complete the drill when a customer is in desperate need of support? What was the Agent thinking about when he behaved this way? I thought to myself wouldn’t he get worked up if he walked into a hospital with an emergency and the doctor started asking a lot of questions instead of starting the treatment? Would he understand and accept that these formalities need to be completed before anything can be done?
Shouldn’t the Agent have done some thinking on the feet and changed the script and behavior? He did nothing to empathise with my concern – just went on like an automaton.
And here is the funny bit in this story – the phone isn’t mine. I had taken up this task to help a friend. He laughed when I narrated the incident and quipped “Well, you got an article for your blog!” He knew me too well. Later we got the address of Service Point by approaching one of the retailers who sold phones.
Opportunity knocks just once they say …. I say, that the Customer calls just once!
I walked up to the Convenience Store near my office to buy a packet of chewing gum – the man in charge of the store was seated at the entrance, gazing at the world going by. He reluctantly got up and fetched the item and extended it to me.
I paid him Rs.10/- and waited for the change – he smiled and said: “No change!”
There is a shop right next door and he could have easily walked across to ask for a small loan, just enough to pay me, if they didn’t have change for 10. The amount could have been returned later in the day.
But he didn’t do that! I stared incredulously at the man for a few moments and walked away. I am sure he expected me to fetch the change, because the need was mine. Well, he had another guess coming. One is never desperate for gum … Not me, for sure!
Have you seen this happen – you walk into a store and the Salesperson doesn’t seem interested in your custom.
In another instance I walked into a white-goods outlet and saw the entire team in the store gathered in front of the TVs on display to watch India play Pakistan in an ODI match. They were so engrossed in the proceedings on TV that my presence was not noticed till I called out to get attention. And then it was a reverse tug-of-war with each of them trying to coax one of others to attend to my needs – I am sure each of them was saying “Killjoy!” in their head – it was quite evident from their expressions!
(Purely as an aside let me ask, have you noticed how during cricket matches in India the Policemen positioned at the periphery of the ground are seated with their backs to the audience and enjoying the match, while in England you would see them with their backs to the playing area to make sure that law and order is maintained in the stands. Now, who is the smart cop?)
The margin available on a packet of gum would not be significant, but if the Salesman were to repeat such behaviour on a regular basis the consequent loss of income in a month would be huge. And in both the examples given above it is likely that over a period of time less and less customers would show interest to do business with them.
Often it’s because the person is totally demotivated and lacking interest in his job – for a variety of reasons. This little convenience store on a side road would not be receiving much business on any given day and hence it makes the owner’s behavior monumentally stupid. One hopes that he has read the writing on the wall and shows more enthusiasm and interest in his customers.
If the entire complement of staff in the white-goods store were to focus on a game or behave in a lukewarm manner when customers walk in, the outlet would soon be on the chopper’s block – the owners would have to shut shop. This outlet belongs to a retail brand that has a number of outlets across the city. Poor performance on a regular basis at one outlet could cause a lot of negative publicity in the market that can impact the entire chain and potential loss of revenue for the stake-holders. Are the Supervisors / Managers aware of the situation?
I hope for their sake that my experience was an exception, a minor aberration, and that the behavior is more energetic and correct at most times.
It is essential for senior managers in the organization to sense-check what is happening in their empire. It shouldn’t be that things were rotten and the smell reaches them only after things are way beyond repair.
Employees need to be reviewed, trained and coached regularly to ensure that they battle ready and eager to provide service – they need to stay motivated all day, all year round. There is no room for complacency and slackness.
Customers need to sense that their presence is appreciated and that their patronage is valuable.
Sales Pros, please put your best foot forward and give them your best smile. The customer may not knock a second time because he has other options today.
We have heard about sequels and prequels to movies and books and now I have come across a few more such terms while searching for the “right” one to use for this follow-up article, specially because I intend to write a sequel using the comments from readers (all of you, to be precise) and this happens to placed ahead of that. Confused? I am in the same state. But let me complete explaining my discovery before moving on – interquel, postquel, paraquel and circumquel are the other terms I discovered. Go on, check them out!
You think “pre-sequel” will fit the bill?
The article “Sales Culture” generated a lot of discussion and strangely all of it had to do with some element in the story other than the central plot – only two readers spoke about the focus area of my article which being the impact of geography or community on Sales.
I think the confusion arose on account of the staccato style I adopted for this article. Trying to be brief I placed some ideas on paper instead of offering a great lot of detail on the central theme. The thought behind that was for the readers to respond without restraint and then take the discussion forward to a conclusion, jointly.
Well, I did get a lot of useful insights, here and on the Sales Coach Blog page on Facebook, but they are less about Sales and more about the impact of parental or peer pressure on career choices.
However, one of the readers who spoke about the central theme found the behavior of the Salesman, in the mobile phone store, laudable because he did not intervene – but, my friend is a telecom engineer and is aware of the features of a phone (He is the tech savvy and internet savvy customer who prefers to study his requirement well before he goes for the purchase – he probably would know much more than the salesperson). Isn’t that the exception than the norm? What if he were purchasing a product he did not know much about and what if he had not done any research on the Internet before going to the store? Won’t more buyers fall in this category?
Yes, it is better if the Salesperson stayed at a distance and stepped up to help only when he or she is called (s/he need not go for an intense Sales Pitch – I am sure my friend has had an overdose of encounters with bad Salespersons) but does that mean s/he should ignore the customers totally and be oblivious to what is happening in the store?
I was also not speaking about the impact (presence or absence) of motivational strategies used by organizations. The other reader who responded to the theme had hinted that probably there was no competition from the outside or within the organization and there was no incentive to perform, by which he meant that people were happy with less.
Let me rephrase here that my query in the previous article pertains to Selling Skills, Persuasion Skills, and Influencing Skills in the context of nations, communities and culture; We can discuss other elements later on.
- Is there a geographical, regional, societal bias in approaches to Selling or being sold to?
- Do we Indian not like being sold to?
- Are Indians different in the way they sell, let’s say, from Africans?
- Have you found a trend in support of the above or is it just my imagination?
- Is there some other motivator or factor involved that I am not aware of?
The Sales Coach Blog presented over 200 articles in 2012 and it received close to 30,000 visitors in that period. April to June was when the blog hit the purple patch, it was an inflection point; readership regularly hit 100+ per day from that period onwards. In Dec 2012 there was a slowdown because I had not posted any article after Dec 8th – the next one only appeared on Jan 1, 2013; concomitantly there was a huge dip in readership, from almost 4000 in Nov 2012 it crashed to 1700 in Dec 2012. I have it all to do in 2013.
Based on number of readers these are the Top-5 articles:
No.1 spot is taken by the 2nd and concluding article of the Negotiation Case Study I presented in May, 2012.
Then came the one on qualification of Prospects – how to make realisitic Sales Forecasts:
What I had to say about letting go off the past and moving on struck a chord with a lot of my readers:
Most people don’t realise that one needs to be assertive to be successful in life – I made a strong case for it here:
And finally, the one that should be on top of the list; actually this article got the highest number of hits but the analytics on WordPress also tells me that a lot of people reached the article after having Googled for the photo, not the text!! So I hesitantly put it down at No.5
A special mention for this next article because it got the highest number of responses from my readers – there were 17 comments in response to this article and one even had a follow-up comment. The topic discussed was Courtesy and Manners and its a hotly debated one in recent times. Almost everyone has something to say about it and that’s reflected in the number of responses I got:
I look forward to your support, feedback and comments in 2013.
P.S: This was the article posted on the day the blog got its highest ever readership – the topic was Career Guidance for young professionals:
There were 201 visitors on that day – it was the 3rd time the Sales Coach Blog hit 200 in a single day – however the visitors were not here to read this article and hence it doesn’t feature in the Top-5.
Walking into the flagship store in town, of one of India’s leading coffee franchises, I witnessed this sight. Well, they said that a lot can happen over a cup of coffee, but I was not expecting this from a brand that took pride in taking coffee drinking experience to another level in this country.
I checked with the Service Team and was told that there is no storage space at the back of the store and while I was there they even walked up to boxes to extract material needed to prepare the items ordered. I wouldn’t be peturbed witnessing such a sight at a Dhaba, but it irked me to see it happening here.
I am sure the marketing team of this organisation took great pains to design each element that constituted the brand and the layout of every outlet would have been detailed to create maximum impact. But did they foresee this?
At the organisations I worked the constant message heard was that the brand is sacrosanct and can’t be tampered with. Young marketing team members incurred the wrath of the senior managers for not getting the colours and layout right in the promotional material. Colour settings, fonts and the relative sizes of the logo and brand name had to be just right – no latitude; and deviations were dealt with severely!
But the same Managers did not flip when they walked into a branded store of the company and found boxes containing promotional material stacked in an ugly pile where customers and other visitors could see it – sometimes right next to the door!
The upkeep of the customer reception area reflected the company’s ethos, its DNA and revealed the mood that prevailed among the team members. It had to be clean, easily accessible and pleasing on the eye.
If the glow-sign displayed outside the store was broken and unkempt and not lit at night customers didn’t need to be told that things are not all-right inside. No employee of the organisation should permit this to happen.
The least this coffee franchise could have done was to stack the boxes in a neat pile and cover it with a decent piece of cloth so that it did not present an ugly sight to the visitors. In fact this pile also caused some inconvenience to customers who wished to take the cosy corner seat next to the window. They had to step over a box to get there. What was the impression they were creating? This team had obviously forgotten the Moments of Truth concept.
I don’t wish to say it all; what thoughts do you wish to share on this subject?
One for the road – Black & Straight: Imagine taking the last sip from a cup of coffee you relished and the dregs flow into your mouth!
These days we stay in touch with most friends using Social Media or the telephone – people are meeting each other less often. Have you noticed that trend? When was the last time you took a spur-of-the-moment decision to drop in on a friend unannounced?
(Here is another question, out of context, I ask a lot of people: “When was the last time you sent a greeting card to someone?” A sheepish smile is the usual response to that one. )
On Jan 1st the route I took to get back to town, after meeting a client, went past a friend’s office – I decided to drop in. The visit presented me an excellent opportunity to say “Hello!” in person to at least one friend on New Year’s Day – thankfully this busy man was having a relatively quiet afternoon and could spare a few moments to exchange words with a friend who had wandered into his premises not unlike a cat that had lost its way.
After exchange of greetings and other courtesies the conversation veered towards his business. I was constantly on the lookout for information that could improve my knowledge of the Indian business scenario – and the corollaries thereof would be opportunities for my consulting practice and fodder for my blog! (Sneaky me, eh?)
The business papers were replete with news about a slowdown in automobile sales – post-Diwali the market was showing a downward trend. There usually is a dip in Sales in December because vehicles bought in the last month of the year have lower resale values as compared with those bought in January – so people usually postponed the purchase. Manufacturers countered this trend by offering schemes that could offset the loss or at least the notion. However, the present dip was more than the norm and had to do with the overall economic scenario, which was still recessionary. My friend’s was feeling the pinch too.
When I asked about Expansion Plans my friend said he would like to share some information about a decision he had made a little over a year back. His current lines were doing well and so he and partner decided to add another dealership to their portfolio. They scouted around and soon found a leading vehicle brand that was looking for a 2nd dealer in town. They had 2-3 rounds of discussions with the local Business Managers of the manufacturer and then tabled their conditions for accepting the dealership. They felt those were fair and essential for them to get a firm footing in a market that already had a well-entrenched competitor.
The brand being considered is a very popular one and their vehicles are in great demand. The Managers knew that finding another Channel Partner who would accept their terms was not difficult. They did not accept the conditions proffered by my friend and soon found another party who was ready to go with their terms.
My friend felt at that time that this was just another opportunity and there would be many others, better ones, which would come their way. But a year later he found that the new player had done well for himself and was on his way to breakeven faster than expected, thanks to the growing demand for the brand.
He analysed their decisions objectively and found that the following mistakes were made while presenting their pitch:
- Their forecast had been too conservative
- At that time they did not foresee such growth in the market
- The impact of the established first dealer was a gross over-estimate
- Some of the demands made were based with a defensive mindset
My friend says that he does not regret having lost that dealership but he learned a lot from it. It helped him to understand himself – it told him a lot about his decision-making strategies and provided him a fabulous self-assessment.
Have you felt that way? Did you make a decision that you regretted or at least felt later that you could have made differently?
How has the original decision impacted you? Do you feel that your situation would be different today if the decision had been something else?
What are the key drivers that impact your decisions? Are they making you too conservative? Or conversely, are they exposing you to great risk?
My friend was very happy that I had cared enough to greet him in person and I was happy with my spontaneous decision because it gave me a great opportunity to learn something.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 30,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals
The clock has ticked over, past the midnight hour, to usher in another new year … for some it announces the beginning of a new business period and for others it is time to renew their resolve and put into practice the long-overdue plans and promises.
Last year on this date the blog presented Sales Resolutions – the article discussed the essentials of a game-plan for success in Sales. While I believe that Business Plans can & should have definite Start-Date and End-Date (for better focus) I don’t think personal resolutions need to be linked to a date unless there is a concrete reason for starting later. I am speaking in particular about resolutions that are set aside for commencement on January 1st, on one’s birthday or even on some other person’s birthday – it just does not make sense to me.
I made a business call today – although most private companies are closed (to permit the late night parting and revelry that their employees usually get involved in to usher in the New Year) there are many large organizations, particularly the ones in the Government Sector, that work on Jan 1st.
I sought out one such, where I had been hoping to make a breakthrough for a while, and fixed an appointment. The idea was not to fulfill a resolution, but to be productive on the very first day of the year and to keep the trend going right through the year. It was a case of doing the necessary at the earliest – I also made sure that there was no late night partying on New Year’s Eve in order to be fresh and alert for the business visit. The call was a huge success and it gave me great satisfaction – I can afford to party now, but I won’t, because it isn’t a priority.
You may say that resolutions have their symbolism too; maybe so, but why link them to dates, essentially ones that cause inordinate postponement.
“I will stop smoking on my father’s birthday.”
“I intend to be nice to customers from next New Year’s day.”
“I promise to stop drinking from my Patron Saint’s birthday.”
And I fail to see the connection.
If you think it is important then the time to stop drinking and smoking and the time to be good to your customers is NOW / TODAY, not a date in the future!
We are not trying to make a symbolic gesture and such measures are usually not effective or worthwhile. If it is important then drop everything else and do the needful.
On Dec 8th my blog had started its 2nd year. I had posted 2 articles on that date – one by myself and another written by a close friend, who is a Guest Relations expert. Since then the blog has not seen any new additions.
What is the impact?
- The readership built up in the last one year has eroded; the blog is languishing. It is also possible that some of them would have lost interest or have gone elsewhere in search of reading material.
- The energy that went into the creation of articles is missing – the reasons for not writing were genuine, not excuses, but still it caused a dilution of interest and effort. It would seem to readers that this effort is of secondary importance.
- The dialogue, and the Connect, that had developed between the writer and the reader has been lost; the writer now needs to redouble his effort to return to the old level.
- Instead of reaching a new level at the commencement of the new period the engagement and the pace has been lost.
The lack of new articles had nothing to do with resolutions – I went through a hectic 10-period of work which called for focused effort and then I decided to take a break to spend time with the family; both caused a cessation in my writing efforts.
While the reasons mentioned above are legitimate and permissible I am just offering another thought:
- I could have written a few extra articles in the more relaxed period earlier and built up a buffer that would help me tide over the busy period. I could have kept the drafts of the articles ready and just posted one every alternate day to keep the readership alive.
- I could have included a few more Guest Articles, interspaced with my own work, and ensured new material for the readers.
These are just some ideas I wish to throw into your head about planning and resolving to get things done. While making resolutions one needs to check whether the postponement could cause more damage and call for a much larger effort than what would be required if one were to start immediately. Would the delay also lead to a drop in resolve and cause one to falter?
- What is the business impact of delays, postponements and drop in intensity of effort?
- How does one buffer for the period of one’s absence? Can some pre-work cover up for it?
- How does one keep the engagement with the customer at a high round the year?
It’s important that we think about these issues to keep business going onward … and ahead!