You put something into the microwave and a minute or two later it is ready to eat, right? Microwaves have trained those of us with little patience to have less patience and those of us with patience nearly instant gratification. We all know this, but what is my point?
Some things take time.
I am often on the road and in Maine where public transportation is somewhat problematic or not available to where I am going, I do a lot of driving alone, which means an instant response to a text or email is nearly impossible. Not only is texting while driving against the law in Maine, but even if it wasn’t, I am not coordinated enough to do it. On a 2 hour ride, I often stop along the way, check my emails from my phone (where I have cell service) and try to deal with them as quickly as possible.
Some times you need time to think before you speak or deliver.
But I have been driving, often I do not have the information at my fingertips or I need to follow up with someone else to get the answer. The CORRECT answer.
I am learning.
Because I am active in Social Media, I often have clients contact me on Facebook, Twitter, Google + as well as text, email or cell phone. Sometimes they send me materials through these channels and I must admit it is a little hard to keep track of information that is shared through multiple platforms and to complicate matters, I use an iPad, Android and a laptop and sometimes those replies are resident on the “appliance” (iPad, Android, laptop) rather than web based and it can make things interesting.
This isn’t about me.
After 287 words about my situation, this may be hard to believe. But after a lunch date with a business friend I heard a similar story from him and I wonder if other business owners feel the same pinch in managing time, projects and clients. Many of us believe that the client is #1 and we strive to serve them the very best we can. Our businesses are built on relationships. I cut my teeth at L.L. Bean in college and you certainly learn the right ways to deliver compelling service to everyone that walks through the door.
Everything moves so fast.
This week as my 2 partners are on vacation, I started asking every client or potential client, “How is the best way for me to contact you?” I have been surprised at how much they appreciate the question and then they share with me similar stories. So I am sticking to old fashioned email. Traceable, you can forward it to those that need the info (unlike Facebook Messages and Tweets) and it helps me prioritize what I look at when I am traveling and have less than reliable cell service. I am remembering one of the best lessons of business. Managing expectations helps us give the customer service they deserve and want.
*Thank you Google images and smecc.org for the use of the photo.