I feel strongly about this topic because too many people who work in professional services focus on being good enough instead of being great. Over the years, I have had the good fortune of attending courses like Dale Carnegie and have been mentored by people with ordinary professions who have extraordinary results on those around them. In recent years, I’ve been privileged to have the opportunity to mentor many our own team at Manawa. Over the next several posts, I want to share some golden nuggets and concepts that I’ve learned over the years that represent the kind of people and culture in our firm.
Be a Mensch: Surprise and delight customers in small and unexpected ways
It’s so important to surprise and delight customers in small and unexpected ways every day. A few years ago, I had a relatively new customer who mentioned he needed a computer screen for a one-time presentation to a small group of customers. He was ready to buy one for this purpose but I mentioned I had one at home that I could loan him. I delivered and set it up at no charge. From his reaction I could tell that he wasn’t expecting it and truly appreciated the gesture. From that point on, there was a shift in that he viewed me more as an ally to his business. Sadly, shortly thereafter, his son died and I attended the funeral. I recall his wife paying me a compliment by referring to me as a Mensch. Guy Kawasaki spoke about being a Mensch at Stanford and wrote about it in his book “The Art of the Start”. He talks about how to be a Mensch in his blog.
Most of us agree that customers hold the cards today and are the most valuable part of a company. Yet, many consultants spend little time learning how to truly appreciate and serve a customer. I was fortunate enough to learn from naturals like my father and barber, who never realized they were mentoring me. I recommend you find mentors, take courses or read some of the popular customer service books like Linchpin, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose and Hug Your Customers.
The most important advice I can offer to achieve what Kawasaki calls ‘Menschdom’ is to earn it through action. Every day, do something to help people without expecting anything in return. Spread your generosity around. Being a mensch is about understanding what makes people tick not technology.