Handling the unexpected.
Have you ever noticed that some days just don’t go as planned? Perhaps you’ve had enough of those days you’ve even began to recognize them when they’re starting to go crazy.
Lately – I’ve had a number of those situations – and I think there’s something to be had about just going with the flow and overcoming the challenges in a way that seems effortless – while inside I want to scream.
For starters, I enjoy going to networking events and meeting new people. I enjoy the excitement of finding people doing really cool things and getting to hear their stories. It’s intriguing – it’s interesting – and it can be slightly problematic given many “networking groups” treat their websites as non-critical to their group.
Not once – not twice – but if my memory serves me correct it’s been 4 times in the past year I’ve gone to early (7:30 or 7:45am) networking meetings driving up to 50 minutes only to find that a website had not been updated and the meetings had either been cancelled or relocated.
On a positive side – it’s nice to be 7:45am and be out the door ready to take on the world. That said – it can be aggravating. I don’t like to be inconvenienced and think at times I don’t want to inconvenience others.
The challenge with running a service based business is that it’s not always 100% predictable.
The Webster definition of the word “service” actually is quite extensive. I particularly like these couple of points however:
2a :the work performed by one that serves <good service>
b :help, use, benefit <glad to be of service>
c :contribution to the welfare of others
d :disposal for use <I’m entirely at your service>
Anyone in a service based industry – do you feel like at times you’re just at the disposal of someone else? Like your entire existence is about someone else? That your job is to help or benefit someone? That’s perfect! You’re just doing your job!
When I think of truly outstanding service, I don’t think of going to a restaurant. Restaurants where they write down what I picked from a menu – then they refill my drink – and carry me my food… That’s not real service. Service is when they make you feel effortless and as if their existence is that you’re happy.
When I think of “service” – I think of my friends in the food catering industry. I think of my friends who struggle (like the show Cake Boss) to fulfill the orders but they always pull it off. Even when things don’t go as planned – you make them work out seemlessly for the client so well that the client gives you a glowing review and thanks you profusely.
For instance – last week I received a call to cover a video shoot for another shooter that cancelled last minute. I got off the call – jumped in my car and headed off to pickup my gear and get to the shoot. Everything went on pause – but that client when I got there might have never known the difference since my job was to make every experience be seemless.
Today was one of those days – because of a scheduling snaffoo – I found myself with a slight gear pickle that could have stressed me out. Luckily – because I knew my gear like the back of my hand I was able to bring the production together smoothly and the client was more than happy.
A big part of blowing the customer’s mind on a project seems to be the confidence and experience to make things happen.
Experience to make the client never even know something went wrong.
It’s not always easy – but it’s always worth creating that 5 star experience whenever possible.