The typical thought many people have when they hear the word change is, "Oh crap!"
I say many people, not all people, because there is a spectrum of the population that does like change, merely for the sake of change.
Change can come in the form of a merger or acquisition, death, marriage, or babies popping into our lives. Anything except what we have grown accustomed to. To me, that is change 1.0.
The change I refer to as 2.0 is much more about evolving your own skills and those of your company to think of change as a constant dynamic, one that is grounded in partnership versus change as in, "old way out, new way in".
Being Different In The Eyes Of Your Customer Is My Point Here.
We are all consumers of a lot of things. Cars, food, clothing, hardware, you name it, we as a people buy a lot of things. It feels good to buy when the people you buy from have taken the time to make it a good experience. The lady in the home improvement store who really cares about getting the paint sample to match. The youngster at Chik-fil-A who genuinely says, "My pleasure" when serving you. The Girl Scouts who are totally stoked when you shell out your cash for a box or two of Thin Mints.
The commoditization of goods, products and AaaS (Anything as a Service) has put the "count 'em and quote 'em" minded folks on the edge of the building, preparing to take a swan dive onto the street below because that strategy doesn't work anymore.
What Does Work?
Understanding that change is happening all around us at breakneck speed and being the one to guide your customers to their desired outcome through excellent customer service. That's what will make you different and stand head and shoulders above your competition.
How are you embracing change as part of your customer service mode? I am not talking about the 1-800 kind of customer service, press 8 for domestic purchases, press 9 for non-US-based support. I am talking about you and Heather sitting down and figuring out what you, as one person representing your entity, can do to help her, and therefore her company, to be smarter consumers of your products or services. In the end, helping her save money or spend it more wisely.
Think About This One Tiny Example:
In India, the Cloud computing need is expected to grow 33% compounded over the next 5 years alone. That's going to change everything and you can bet there are folks there that need a consultive and collaborative approach to help them figure out that road map. Winning in this emerging situation means being a good partner and doing the right thing NOW. The reward, be it money, more work, or enhanced reputation will come to those who help with the long term results in mind.
If you do this people will continue to use you as the gold standard. They will buy from you if you help them. You do not have to be the cheapest, but you will really have to deliver at a very high level. You have to earn the trust of those you are serving. If you don't, you're strictly in the midst of a business transaction. If you are indeed helping Tom figure out what he needs and a unique way of scheduling or setting up deliveries or anything that helps remove the risk, you are moving toward a trusted partnership.
That's change 2.0 everyone can believe in.
Stay sharp, stay curious.