June 10, 2005


One of the biggest challenges I face every day at work is managing the customers expectations. You know, making sure they know they matter but also keeping it all in perspective.

I work with 2 plants. the one we just aquired and was the main reason I was hired. So....they are a bit, oh lets just say behind in their deliveries. To be honest - it's pretty bad. But it gets better every day.

But we have one customer that does the largest bulk of our business. You all know the 80/20 rule. 80% of your business being done by 20% of your customer base. Yeah - well, just throw that one out the window in this case.

Anyway - we're on a conference call and talking about scheduling. After about 5 mins I realize this customer honestly believes that they are our ONLY customer. They truly think it's all about them.

Now how in the hell do I manage expectations like THAT!?!? For cryin' out loud, even in my OJ days Wal-Mart was more reasonable than THAT.

How on earth did THAT misconception ever get started?!? Well, I'm sure it was all innocent enough in the beginning. New relationship, promises made, bragging. Then everything got pushed to accomidate the new guy. Those customers that were the bread and butter, the smaller guys, started getting put on the back burner. Calls not returned, orders shipped late. ANYTHING the new guy wanted, the new guy got. They spoiled them. Plain and simple. And it was unreasonable. Completely.

NOW...we got us a mess on our hands. And I do mean a mess......I'm dealing with the other 99% of the customers and, well, they ain't happy. They don't believe a word I say. Ouch.

So....I'm doin' me some wooing. I'm making promises - and then making them happen. Voila! I'm the hero. But that is a lot of pressure. I can't miss. It's quite the tight rope.

That all just reinforces my believe that it's important to just be honest. I am who I am. Period. What you see is pretty much what you get. If you ask me a question - I'll tell you the truth. I may not offer it up, but if you ask, I'll answer. I don't make promises I can't keep...I don't brag unless I can back it up. It works well in business....and in my life.

So my little advice today is easy. Just be honest. Communicate. Let the people in your business (and life) know whats going on....if you're busy, something broke, or you have to refocus. They will take that better than you think. I deliver bad news all the time. But the secret is I deliver. They know whats going on. Good or Bad.

It's how I run my business and how I run my life. Communicate. It seems to work pretty well. So, what's your secret to success?

Posted by Tammi at June 10, 2005 05:34 AM

"But the secret is I deliver"

well shit.....**preview is my friend, preview is my friend"

Posted by: Tammi at June 10, 2005 05:41 AM

You're working with 2 plants? I thought you said your coworkers were fun and exciting?

Posted by: Ogre at June 10, 2005 07:02 AM

Mine is the same...honesty. Sometimes I'm too honest...(at work) but it hasn't hurt me yet!

Posted by: Sissy at June 10, 2005 10:08 AM

Heh. Tammi delivers.


Posted by: Harvey at June 10, 2005 12:01 PM

Honesty is your friend.

I swear, the more honest you are with the customer the more they are understanding. I think it's because they have been there, done that and know what's it like and cut you some slack.

Posted by: Machelle at June 11, 2005 04:33 PM