The least I could do
One way to think about running a successful business is to figure out what the least you can do is, and do that. That’s actually what they spent most of my time at business school teaching me.
No sense putting more on that pizza, sending more staff to that event, answering the phone in fewer rings… what’s the point? No sense being kind, looking people in the eye, being open or welcoming or grateful. Doing the least acceptable amount is the way to maximize short term profit.
Of course, there’s a different strategy, a crazy alternative that seems to work: do the most you can do instead of the least.
Turns out that this is a cheap and effective marketing technique.
I read this blog post by Seth Godin and thought yes indeed, spot on. The counterintuitive customer loyalty building that great service experience brands just do and the normal behaviour exhibited by the rest. I have long since stopped wondering why everyone doesn’t get it and instead sort out the best companies to benchmark and copy.
Once we (PEER 1) have hired a new member of our growing UK team and we feel sure they have the right attitude there is still that period of adjustment before they can instinctively trust their own judgement, they will have experience life inside other organisations with rules and processes designed to stop them giving no more than enough. Once they know we trust their judgement they don’t look back. Its take now more effort to do the right thing but its a whole lot more satisfying – for the team and the customers.