Just Ask!

I love getting out of the office and visiting with customers.  It’s especially fun when you have a history with the people, the company and can see the vision they have for themselves and where they would like to go.  It’s also a great opportunity to ask questions and see if there’s a better way.

I had one such visit recently that reminded me of the importance of stopping to smell the roses – or in this case, asking questions.   After our scheduled business meeting, a casual conversation occurred with Susie and Mary (names have been changed to protect the innocent), customer service reps for this local distribution company.  They spend their days talking to customers, processing orders and overall providing great service.  And since they know everything about their customers, they’re often the focal point for questions from their co-workers.   They mentioned that they’re constantly asked to check the delivery status of shipments with the big name shipping companies.

The discussion went something like this….

(Susie) “Boy I really wish I could just click a button and see what the delivery status is.  “

     (Me)  “You can – just click the Track Package function”

(Susie) “Where’s that???”

     (Me)   “Right here….”

(Susie)  “You mean I could do this all along and I didn’t know?  This is going to save us so much time!”

This is an example of just one small task that was being done manually and, when you add up the time and interruptions in the day, it really begins to add up; especially during busy season.

So, today’s lesson is “ask questions”.  Think about those things that slow you down and ask your business partner if there’s a better way.  You might just be surprised how often the answer is Yes.

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