It's funny how often I hear the words "think outside of the box." I just don't understand why people can't think while they are in the box. I certainly can. Please see my attached picture for proof. Don't I look like I am doing some serious reflecting on life? (and on the edibility of the box?)
Okay, to get back on topic. Sometimes there are restrictions on what can be done. Sometimes outside of the box is not possible due to resource limitations such as time and money. This doesn't mean that things don't get done or even that you can't be creative. What it does mean is that you have to be even more creative and work within the limits that have been set.
I had a chance to view the Johnny the Bagger video and was very impressed by his creativity and customer service mindset. (Yes, I know it's surprising but dogs love to watch television, especially good news stories.) It's amazing how something as small as a thought of the day in a grocery bag can greatly impact customer loyalty. Sometimes it's the small things that make the greatest difference.
So, what can you do? What little something can have a huge impact on your customers' reactions or level of satisfaction? Pat tells me that being real is very important. Don't lose yourself in bureaucracy or policies. (I'm not sure what bureaucracy means but apparently it's something to do with politics and red tape.) She also says to treat others the way you want to be treated. She believes in honesty and integrity. I guess that's why she has no problem telling me when I am doing something I am not supposed to do - like chew on her office stool legs. The integrity piece is simple - do what you say you are going to do, and do it well.
Now, take it to the next level. Be yourself and then be better than you currently are. Be honest and then add kindness. Do what you say you will and then do it better, faster and even in a more cost effective way. When someone is doing something you don't believe in, don't compete with them; set yourself apart by maintaining your ethics and telling people that you won't bend on them. Care about your customers and tell them you care. Open yourself to feedback and accept that you won't always be the best at something - growth and improvement is important. Think inside the box but do it better than anyone else!
Signing Off - Simon