From New Work Habits for a Radically Changing World
By Price Pritchett
Your security and that of your company depends on how valuable you are to your company’s customers. The better you serve them, the better you protect your career.
This heightens the importance of knowing precisely who these people are. You need an in-depth feel for your targeted market. What do your customers do, and how do you fit into the picture? What are their needs? What does it take to please them? How can you contribute to their success?
Sharpen your insights into your personal “marketplace,” and you’ll see exactly what you should do to make yourself indispensable.
Keep in mind that there are both internal and external customers. You may deal directly with each type, but let’s focus on whom you’re supposed to serve inside the organization. It may be some other department, several people in your own functional area, or just your direct supervisor. Maybe you’ve always thought of them as coworkers, or as people you work with rather than for. But make no mistake — these are your clients and customers.
Too often we don’t stop and think about the full implications of this. We more or less take our jobs for granted, and that’s a risky way to run a career.
Unless you take pains to provide the best possible service, and do so in a competitive market place (i.e., salary), you’ll find it hard to keep customers. They’ll replace you with a better service provider. In essence, somebody else will “steal your business.”
The more you allow your service to go soft, the greater the odds you could end up in some downsizing statistics. Or, the organization might simply decide to outsource your work, to farm it out to some other firm that specializes in doing what you do. More than likely, you’re actually in competition with external providers who offer the same service, whether you realize it or not. Question is, who will provide the best bargain, you or somebody else?
You must get close — intimately close — to your customers. Seek regular, direct contact with them. Build a strong relationship. Deliver the highest quality service possible. Anticipate their needs, and develop a reputation for responsiveness.
In the final analysis, customers are your only source of job security.
This chapter was written by Price Pritchett in New Work Habits For A Radically Changing World. It isn’t often I am as impacted by an author as I was by this book. I suggest you order a copy (1-800-992-5922, www.pritchettnet.com) and circulate this article to your staff. Call me if serving your internal and external customers is a belief you want reinforced at your firm. We have a simple yet effective process to use to ensure this belief is understood, accepted and acted upon.
Quoted with permission of PRITCHETT, LP; all rights reserved.