There is a false belief out there that being available to your customers 24/7 is the best service you can provide. For some reason, professionals believe they should be available to their customers at all times, take their calls immediately, always see them when they appear, and be there at the drop of a hat. This is actually a recipe for disaster. Here is why…
It’s dysfunctional to make yourself available anytime, day or night. Actually, it’s impossible. Ideally, you need to have a life that’s congruent and harmonized. You need to get a good night’s sleep. You need to exercise, relax, and eat healthy. You need clarity around your values and your daily activities need to be aligned with those values.
I bet you’re wondering this: “My customers expect me to be available when they need me. People don’t like to be put off.” You believe that if your customers want it, they want it NOW. You believe that by being available to them 24/7, you stay ahead of your competition in a competitive market.
I ask you this: Are you Superman? Are you a machine? Even machines need downtime for maintenance. And cell phones need to be charged. Well rested, fit, and happy people provide the best customer service.
Now you’re probably thinking: “How can I change? What about my spouse, my children, my friends…they all expect me to be there for them when they need me.” This is a great response. Here’s the thing…you have taught them all to expect you to be there 24/7. It is now time to re-educate everyone!! But you must start with YOU!
Step 1: Define your values and what is most important to you.
Step 2: Create a few simple rules and habits that will support those values.
Step 3: Schedule some great conversations with your family, friends, and customers.
The purpose of the conversations is to create agreements on how you can best serve and relate to them, without make them upset or hurting their feelings. And you must include a clean understanding of your limitations and availability. The result will bring better customer service, and a better YOU!
YOUR CHALLENGE: Set a goal (timeline) for yourself when it comes to re-defining your values. Consider the conversations you need to have with others to get to the result! Is your goal reasonable? Can you create a better YOU?