Life is short, someone once said.
Sooner or later everybody realises the truth of that, I say.
And of course life is too short to do something you hate doing. Where do you stand on this matter? Does your job give you goosebumps when you think about? Here is a short goosebump checklist:
- Do you arrive at work every morning and feel a flutter in your chest when you open the doors?
- Does it hurt when you see a customer pause at your entrance, and then move on?
- Do you experience joy when you watch one of your customers interact with your staff ?
- Do you feel a little thrill when you check the takings for the day?
And of course, what about your staff? Do you think they get a buzz from working in your business?
I ask you these questions because the single most important thing that you can do – in any business – is to get your people fired up and committed to making a success of it. Ahead of strategy, ahead of marketing, ahead of merchandising: with the right people in place, anything is possible.
And this includes delivering great customer service, which everybody is sick TALKING about, but somehow still remains such as rarity. I figure that I get good customer service maybe once in every 100 interactions – and that is a generous estimate.
There is no ‘science’ to support my contention, but I figure that because so many retail employees have ‘fallen into’ a retail career, they never had the goosebump experience – and without that essential passion and excitement, great customer service is not possible.
If you still get that goosebump experience:
- >>> Congratulations! You are lucky, lucky, lucky.
If you never did get that goosebump experience:
- >>> Fire yourself and/or staff – and find something that does.
If you used to get it, but not anymore:
- >>> Light the fire again – because life is too short.
How can you ignite the fire again?
CONNECT. TAKE. LEARN.
I can’t tell you who to connect with – but I am MORE than happy to connect with you because we have common interest in all things retail. Join me on LinkedIn, or Twitter. Join retailsmartresults.com and use social media tools to establish and expand your connectedness with your fellow retailers and members of the retail supply chain.
Stretch you connectedness to others. Join a group. Start networking. Belong to something. Join a charity or volunteer for something. Give back to the community. Go to Church again. ANYTHING. It will give a different perspective.
Take a break. Even if you think you don’t have the time. Even if you think you can’t afford to. You have to step away from (or even ‘lose’ it completely) to appreciate what you have. Retail is a 24/7 game. It is tough. It can and will kill enthusiasm very quickly.
Here are a few resources to trigger that much needed “LEARNING”.
Do some e-Learning. Sign up at a community college. Go back to uni. Never stop learning. And the internet is great for accessing information for personal development and growth.
Here are a dozen other sites (with thanks to Rajesh Setty) where you can regularly get inspiration:
- Seth Godin – Daily dose of simply brilliant thinking
- TED Talks – Brilliant insights in less than twenty minutes
- ChangeThis – Manifestos that you can read in less than one hour
- PSFK – Innovation and Trends Research
- SpringWise – Innovative Business Models from all over the world.
- Innocentive – Companies looking to pay money for innovative solutions. Take a look and see what problems they are trying to solve.
- THINKaha – Our own series of bite-sized books for thinking people. You will be guaranteed to get a dozen “aha-moments” in less than 30 minutes
Lateral Action – Where creativity and productivity intersect.
- WorkHappy.Net – Killer resources for entrepreneurs
- Lifehacker – Life hacks and more.
- Creativity Online – Creativity Online culls the best visual and idea-centric communication from around the world.
Get back your goosebumps. That is this week’s priority…