Do you need to walk in your customer’s shoes in order to truly understand their issues and provide the right solutions? We have heard this saying many times before, and it could have been appropriate at the time, but time and challenges have changed. Customers still expect you to watch for cracks in the sidewalk and not let them fall. However, that is no longer enough for today’s fast paced environment.
Shoes are certainly foundational to the service equation. You can’t look forward if you aren’t on stable ground. However, I would suggest that we also tilt our heads up from our laptops and smart phones and provide an extra set of eyes for our customers. The greatest value comes from looking forward and into their future toward the next set of challenges and opportunities.
Do you take the time to look up? And when you do look up, do you stay there and consider options, strategies, and plans to move forward? Or do you quickly get distracted by the next email and bring your attention back to the cracks in the sidewalk again? How will autonomous vehicles and options not only impact our vehicle choices and costs, but also the business model of each of our companies? How will technology impact our supply chain for products and services? As an industry, we can’t expect different results thinking the same way as we did years ago. The recent Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods is a great example of how some look forward and others look at the cracks.
And just like your own eyesight, you need to periodically check your customer’s eyes to ensure their sight or environment hasn’t changed. If so, adapt. Doing so will continue to add value to their organization, and yours.
Warren Buffett was quoted saying, “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” What does your customer need to be successful in the future? What does your company need to be successful in the future? What about your own personal growth? Look ahead and act today!
Join the conversation! How are you looking ahead for your customers? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.