It matters not if your key customer is in the department on the floor above you, if you’re in retail or B2B: today your customer expects even more from you.
Last week I took Mixonian’s Social Media Person and token Millennial, Miranda, with me to Philadelphia to help with a Critical Conversations workshop for Medtronic (right before the Society of Women Engineers 2016 conference.) One of her many responsibilities was transportation.
From the airport, we planned to take a taxi. Walking from baggage to the taxi stand, a nice man asked us if we needed a taxi, and offered to get it for us. After a chatty wait with him for about 10 minutes, we were whisked into what turned out to be an illegal (non-sanctioned, non-Uber) taxi, driven by someone who apparently had taken a vow of silence. We arrived, only mildly terrified, at our apartment, sort of near Rittenhouse Square 30 minutes later. Oh, the credit card machine in the taxi did not work and BTW, the taxi driver didn’t have any change on him. Trip cost $50.
For the trip back to the airport, Miranda calls the number for a taxi service and gets put on hold. She calls again, same thing. Third call, same response, and the voice message asks her to please download the taxi service app. Instead, she (finally!) downloads the Uber app and someone is ready to take us to the airport, with a two minute wait instead of 20. And we can save money by sharing the ride. The trip took no more than 20 minutes, and cost $16 – and the credit card reader actually works.
Our expectations for transportation to and from airports just shifted. Perhaps I’m late to this as I don’t travel but a few times a year, unlike some of you more seasoned travelers.
It used to be reasonable to expect a luxury car to be a gas guzzler, Tesla teaches us to expect high performance, beautiful design, AND efficiency.
It used to be reasonable to expect mediocre food ingredients at any fast food restaurant, Chipotle teaches us to expect quality ingredients, low price and fast service.
It used to be reasonable to make a phone call for dinner reservations or a hair salon appointment. Now there’s an app for that.
Even in health care, the leading payor CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) now demands that health care providers submit proof of their efficacy in the form of new metrics and reports, proof that they are improving the patients’ health, regardless of whether patients actually comply with their treatments or even show up for scheduled appointments.
Our unreasonable government (serving a more unreasonable public) now requires the self-employed to buy health insurance that can cost, for example, $10,000/year with a $6,000 deductible, and for which the $10,000 premium may be $12,000 next year.
Your customer is now used to instant delivery and premium quality and lower prices. You may not see this affecting your work yet, but it will. Click here for a 17-minute talk on the topic by Adam Morgan at eatbigfish.
The only way to prepare for this change, coming sooner rather than later to your office, is to become a more unreasonable leader yourself. (That means you expect more from yourself before raising the bar on others.)
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.” Leo Tolstoy
3 Suggestions to deal with your even more unreasonable customer:
- Turbocharge your growth mindset.
You can’t really work more hours because you already put in the hours. The change has to be with how you USE your time. It starts with asking yourself how to be more unreasonable. (Recall that your brain will answer any question you ask it.)
2. Challenge assumptions.
What can you question about your current way of working?
Is that meeting/report/metric/talking point really important?
Can you decide not to get annoyed because it’s simply a waste of time and energy? #workingonthis
(Spread Bagelry in Philadelphia challenged our assumptions about bagels. #swoon)
3. Learn something different.
The essence of innovation is applying a solution that works in one domain to a different domain. The trick is, you don’t right away know what is that domain that going to give you the answer.
Things I’ve done differently include learning Spanish, traveling to South Africa by myself, learning hip hop and attending a conference for a different industry from my own, specifically The Southern C Summit.
Soon you will be able to listen to Mixonian blog posts. That’s different.
You may not have realized that the price you pay for magical services (like free 2-day delivery) is that your delusional customer now has the audacity to expect magic from you. Delivering more with the same inputs is a form of constraint. How are you preparing? (Click here for A Reason to Love Constraints.)