There are many businesses doing it for the long haul. There are also many businesses who believe they are in it for the long haul but tend to operate for the short term. Are you providing long-term customer service solutions, or really just service in the moment?
Operating for the short term often seems realistic. It feels like the right thing to do. What I do today, must earn the trust, respect, and close the sale with my customer. That makes sense, but that is a short-term proposition. After today, it’s over, tomorrow is another day.
Short Game Panic
In the suburbs or rural communities, most people require a car or similar vehicle for getting things done. There isn’t a train, a bus, or in some cases, not even an Uber ride. People make life happen in part with their vehicle.
Why do people run out of gasoline? Why do they let their tank go so low that eventually it is empty?
There may be many reasons. Anything from waiting for payday to a faulty gauge, however, one of the most common is short-term thinking. The idea is I think I can make it. It will save some time and money, right now, in this very moment.
The short game doesn’t always work out so well. It causes stress, anxiety, and often panic. Panic often causes us to make additional unfavorable decisions. We can’t see things clearly, we’re always picking up the pieces from the short term fix.
Short Game Risk
Risk is often measured differently in the short game. It is like our fear to speak up. It is common for people to say nothing even though they believe the result will be unfavorable. The short gamer weighs the risk of speaking up as more dangerous than dealing with a bad decision later.
In the short game, they say nothing, and there is little risk taken, it feels safe. Tomorrow the price may be paid as a poor choice unfolds in what now may be labeled as a self-fulfilled prophecy. However, they’ll let it play out, see what happens next. That is playing the short game, not the long one.
All of this is the same for the culture of customer service that you are building.
You can run the risk in the short game. You can take the chance that you won’t run out of gas or you can hang up the telephone, watch the customer walk out the door, or worse you can hide behind email. Close the sale today, worry about tomorrow, tomorrow, that is the short game.
Long-Term Customer Service
Long-term customer service is much different from the short game. In the long game decisions usually are not made in a panic. They are made with the future at heart, the correct choices for the right now and for the long term.
Long-term strategy doesn’t come with panic. You fill the tank before you start the journey.
Unless you don’t plan to be around much longer.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.