Simple Truths of Service: Are you focused on your clients?

Ken Blanchard’s book, The Simple Truths of Service, provides some excellent insights on client service that seem pretty obvious. But like many such insights, what seems obvious is not necessarily consistently practiced. In one part of his book, he says, “No one can make you serve customers well. That’s because great service is a choice.” He’s right, but as simple and clear as that truth is, it can be difficult to put into practice.

As I pondered Blanchard’s statement, I was reminded of something our founding partners, Jim Howard and Joe Smith used to say often: “Clients are the reason for our work, not an interruption of it.” I think perhaps this is the preface to Blanchard’s statement. It is often necessary to remind ourselves why we are here to begin with. It is not for meeting a calendar full of deadlines, leadership training, tax and audit training, recruiting or web site updates. It is for one reason and one reason only: our clients.

This is our busiest time of year. Your organization may have a different “busy season” or you may – like many businesses in growth mode – be busy every day. At all times and through all business cycles, the reason for being is the client/customer. Without them, there is no point in training, calendars, deadlines and web sites.

Blanchard goes on to tell a story about a complaining unprofitable cab driver who became a phenomenally successful cab driver – all because of a shift in his attitude toward his customers. He refers to it as going from a “quacking duck” to “soaring like an eagle.” Which are you?

From time to time, I suggest stepping back and looking at your approach to your day. Are you focused on the grind of meeting deadlines or are you focused on your clients?