Stop saying “No Problem…”
Oh... here's one you're going to struggle with! For many of the businesses we work with, particularly our customers in the distribution business, service is the differentiator. Unfortunately, in our zeal to provide the service that we believe will be our "differentiator"" we often create a situation where our customer thinks what we have delivered really has no "extra" value. Ironically, they believe this because of how we have responded to their request. They asked for something special and we said it was "no problem...", so they believe it and we create the impression by our words that the deed we have accomplished is "no problem".
Often, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Many times, when we tell the customer "no problem", we go way above and beyond the call of duty and get no credit for it. We work past quitting time, we manipulate and cajole the operations staff to go the extra mile, we promise Mike in shipping an extra case of beer if he'll get the order out on time and we tell the customer it was "no problem"??... are you kidding me, what, do you have a "kick me" sign on your back????
So, how do we change our behavior and start getting recognized for the extra effort we provide. We'll need to start by creating a change in your belief system and recognize that we often go way beyond the call of duty for our customers. Then, we need to push aside our "need for approval" and start being willing to tell customers "like it is". Not in a rude way, but the actual truth of the situation and what we had to do to get the results they asked for. Then, recognizing what we really do for people and change our belief patterns, it will suddenly make sense to stop saying "no problem". Instead, we might say, "let me look into that and get back to you."
An example: a client was asked by a customer if he could change the delivery of an order to delay shipping for an extra week? Instead of saying "no problem" our client said "let me look into it and see if I can make the change". The issue was challenging, took some extra effort, but they were able to make the change in the delivery schedule as asked.
Now, the sales person went back to the client and said "I called our shipper and I was able to re-route your order to another customer. Then, I found another LTL (less than truckload) shipper that will be able to deliver your order when requested. We'll be able to eat the extra shipping charges this time but in the future we'll have to pass the cost of the changes on to you.
Now the customer, rather than thinking "no problem", thanked the sales person for all the hard work, offered to pay the expediting charges and promised some extra business for the effort they went through. Now, we end up getting the credit and potentially some additional business for all of our effort... all by refusing to say "no problem".
So think, next time you get asked to do something special , to not be so quick to say "no problem". You might actually end up getting "paid" for what you do and create the extra value your customer expects and has gotten in the past without knowing!