I looked up and my heart was filled with pride and at the same time I was in awe. Here I stood beneath the silver ceiling, cool and comfortable, looking at my project. The first big one undertaken some years ago has stood the test of time. There was a lot of movement in the warehouse. The forklifts and people were busy moving in and out. The place was filled with activity and action, and I felt that sense of accomplishment one can only feel when they have climbed an Everest.
What are you prepared to do to ensure your customers are happy, not just for the short term, but for a long time?
As I gazed at the ceiling, someone touched my shoulder. From the moment I entered to the present the workers were coming up and asking when will the other parts of the warehouse be insulated and ventilated. Without words they seemed to understand it was not as simple as it appeared, and were grateful for the relief they experienced daily within the area. Once again I shook hands and held a general conversation, expressing appreciation for their feedback and confidence in the solution.
Ventilation needed - The heat from the past
In 2008, I met with a customer who was referred to me by another. He started the process, and we both lobbied strategically to get a sample part of his warehouse completed. The objective was to win a small battle for the customers and staff, and then expand further. My first hat on that project was that of salesperson. I listened, researched, and did a study on the location and the bureaucracy of our government systems. We worked as a team, the client was quite serious with this project, and its success depended on getting everyone to buy into the solution. One year later, we were still lobbying and my client was replaced suddenly. Politics can be the killer of many sales deals. Undeterred, I continued and two years later, we got the job, and completed the project. There were problems, challenges along the way, but I felt it was important to finish successfully. During the negotiation period every time I visited my body was drenched in sweat from the heat. I could not imagine how staff and customers survived this business environment, but I dreamt that one day, it would be different.
Looking up, I felt the cool breeze from the fan flooding downwards, on this very hot day. Another smile escaped and noted everyone looked cool and comfortable. I am happy and proud. The sample has worked well, and hopefully one day, they will complete based on this example.
Can one feel passionate about a job? Can one feel happy seeing happy customers who belong to another?
On leaving the compound, there were many handshakes, and greetings. The last thing I heard, “when will you get them to fix the rest?”
I have made quite a few mistakes as an entrepreneur, a saleswoman, project manager, ventilation consultant, trainer, commercial manager, and leader. I have learnt that the value of your mistakes is in you failure analysis assessment. When you get it wrong, you need to pause just long enough to see what was wrong, and how to make it better, next time. If you cannot acknowledge your errors, you cannot fix and grow.
Customer service is important. Understanding the dynamics of customer satisfaction requires mapping the present situation and mapping alternative solutions based on your industry. Brainstorm cause and effect, and its impact on ALL employees. It is very important to keep internal customers comfortable so they can meet and exceed external customer needs.
Somehow, we got this right, and I learnt a lot from that project, and providing a solution which works.
What has been your best customer solution experience? Work can be an undiscovered passion if you have not found it yet!
Thank you for reading and engaging on this post.