(Mondays are Lynn Miles Peisker days at The Daily Blur. Lynn’s the Executive Sister and Chief Plate Spinner at the Imagination Advisory Group. Check out her growing archive of posts here.)
Q. “You can’t get there from here?”
A. “Well, you can but it’s going to take a really long time.”
I spent the last two weeks with some dear friends who are in various stage of convalescence which involve not driving. They live in Orlando, Florida, where the average commute time is measured in light years. I volunteered to spend a week as their driver. I drove an average of 100 miles a day.
Here are some things I learned while driving around, through and across Orlando:
1. Sometimes a long drive is worth it. My friend Tom goes to a bible study group that is about 45 minutes from his house. He loves the guys there and the teaching is spot-on. Could he stay home and study by himself? You bet, but he’d sure miss out on a lot. The long trip is worth it.
Application: Are you making the destination worth the trip for your customers? Add value to your customer’s experience in a way that will cause your customers to go out of their way to do business with you.
2. You can make good use of the driving time. On our daily commute we solved big world problems, made each other laugh, and wondered aloud if the Magic could come back without JJ Reddick. We arrived at each destination invigorated for the tasks ahead.
Application: Time is precious these days, and we need to respect our customers by helping them maximize their days. Are you on time? Do you keep your appointments? Have you upgraded your magazines and provide free wi-fi free in the waiting room?
3. Expect delays. Go ahead and plan on slamming on the brakes at some point when you are driving around Orlando. We encountered lots of visitors uncertain of where they are headed.
Application: Are you working with your clients to set proper expectations so there are no surprises as you serve them? Do you have the margin to over-deliver on their experience? How about those new to your business or your community? Are you making it easy for them to find and choose you?
4. Cluster for efficiency. When it takes the better part of an hour to run out for milk, you learn to check the fridge to see if you need eggs too. When leaving home has major consequence to both time and money, you suddenly become more purposeful and efficient.
Application: Everything you do for your clients has consequence to their most valuable resources: time and money. How can you be more purposeful in serving them? How can you be more efficient? I’m not kidding about providing free wi-fi and for heaven’s sake, upgrade your magazine subscriptions.
I will miss my friends and the beautiful Florida sunshine. But I will not miss the driving here. Where I come from, it’s about 4 minutes to the grocery store and even less to the doctor’s office and dry cleaners. However, I will carry the lessons I learned with me and work hard to apply them to my daily business practice.
How about you?