Nobody wants to be, as the saying goes, “Up creek without a paddle.” Feeling lost, alone, insecure, and without options, people tend to reflect extremely negatively on their circumstances. Some questions that run through the mind: “How did I get here? Why is this happening? Who put me in this situation?” That last one is the killer, especially in the world of business. The last thing any organization should want is to leave their clients feeling isolated, confused, and uncared for. Nobody wants to be abandoned in a canoe - especially one that they can’t even maneuver. Sadly, this happens constantly in a multitude of customer service scenarios, with the inevitable results being customer churn.
We don’t speak often enough about how actual team members are impacted when they don’t have tools that properly support their job functions. Particularly when those team members work in support or implementations, the stress can become overwhelming. They are meant to be counselor, mediator, guide, and font of all knowledge, all at the same time, and all while maintaining a cheery disposition & working as efficiently as possible. On the day to day, they often achieve herculean tasks that go unnoticed - but if something takes too long, or a solution cannot immediately be found, they are often the first to be reprimanded, both by the client and by the organization they work for. They’re stuck in the proverbial canoe with the customer - and still without a paddle.
Companies, their clients, and their team members are on a journey together. That journey begins when a potential client first engages with a company, and it never truly ends - unless they churn. These journeys often start off relatively simply, but they can become complicated rather quickly. It’s usually along the activation/implementation/success stage of that journey that team members and their clients “get into the canoe,” so to speak. Once they set off, there’s no turning back. They might face rapids and whirlpools along the way, but they have to stay together. Failures, wreckage, and drowning occur when the team is ill-prepared. They have to have a paddle.
Eventually, after the obstacles that implementations present are overcome, it becomes relatively smooth sailing (or, paddling, as it were). This is not to say that it will always remain so, and as such, organizations and their teams must always be prepared for new challenges. Still, their clients will appreciate that they have someone with them to guide & paddle along the way. However your organization chooses to guide your clients is up to you, but whatever you do, don’t abandon them, and always have a paddle.
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