All I ever wanted in life was an unfair advantage.

What the heck!!  What ever happened to customer service?!?  As a generalization, IT STINKS!  I find myself cringing every time I have to interact with any vendor, personal or professional.  I could tell story after story, but I will spare you my frustrations.  There are themes, and those I will share.

  • No returned phone calls
  • Broken promises
  • Complete lack of empathy

It seems to me that everyone has more work than they can handle and they just don’t care so much:  credit a robust economy and a tight labor market.  Speaking for myself, I am annoyed, and it really grinds my gears that you practically have to beg to get anyone to do anything.  But everything has a cycle, and the current business climate is no different.  When the cycle changes and work becomes scarce, consumers will remember who was good to do business with and who wasn’t: I know I will.  Maybe we need a recession!

So where is the opportunity?  Warren Buffet uses the term MOAT.  Think of a moat as something that protects from outside invasion.  Buffet uses the phrase “competitive, durable advantage”.  He looks for moats around all of the businesses he invests in.

In my PCNS days, our moat was customer service, a key component in our client’s customer success equation.  Very simply, we followed Dan Sullivan’s ( Four Habits of Referability.

The Four Habits of Referability

  • Show Up On Time – show respect for others time
  • Do What You Say – only promise things you are sure you can deliver
  • Finish What You Start – dot your I’s and cross your T’s. People love to work with others who don’t need to be micro-managed
  • Always Say Please and Thank-you – show appreciation and gratitude

It seems so simple, but if you are able to build these simple habits into all of your dealings with others and make it a part of your business culture, you will have a moat.

Do you have a moat?

What I am reading:
Work:  Making Work Visible by Dominica DeGrandis – Amazon Link
Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow
Pleasure: The Grid by Gretchen Bakke – Amazon Link
The fraying wires between Americans and our energy future