By Chris Enger
A Hare was making fun of the Tortoise on day for being so slow.
“Do you ever get anywhere?” he asked with a mocking laugh.
“Yes,” replied the Tortoise, “and I get there sooner than you think. I’ll run you a race and prove it.”
The Hare was much amused at the idea of running a race with the Tortoise, but for the fun of the thing he agreed. So the Fox, who had consented to act as judge, marked the distance and started the runners off.
The Hare was soon far out of sight, and to make the Tortoise feel very deeply how ridiculous it was for him to try a race with a Hare, he lay down beside the course to take a nap until the Tortoise should catch up.
The Tortoise meanwhile kept going slowly but steadily, and, after a time, passed the place where the Hare was sleeping. But the Hare slept on very peacefully; and when at last he did wake up, the Tortoise was near the goal. The Hare now ran his swiftest, but he could not overtake the Tortoise in time.
- The Æsop for Children
Today’s work environment can often feel like we are surrounded by hares. Everything is so immediate from the first emails to the closing transactions. All is done at what feels like a hare's pace.
How can we show the patience and determination of the tortoise when business can sprint on by. How can we be the tortoise showing unique patience, and still win this race when customers are looking for fast hare-like responses?
Here are some tortoise-like qualities we can implement as we work with our customers.
- Listening Actively: Paying attention to customers’ needs and repeating your understanding of the issue builds the relationship with the customer and shows you care about their need.
- Acknowledge their Urgency: Understand where they are coming from. Let them know you comprehend why they need a rapid resolution.
- Keep Expectations Realistic: Give the customer a breakdown on the next steps so they know what to expect and when.
- Stay Patient and Persistent: Remember that patience and persistence are key. Keep your focus on finding the best solution rather than rushing into a quick fix that might not be effective in the long run.
- Communicate Progress: Regular updates are critical in demonstrating to the customer of your persistent help. Always be honest in communicating your progress.
I was in the market for a new car recently and now being able to text and email information, I was able to work with multiple dealers at the same time.
The dealership that won my business wasn’t the one with the fastest answers or quickest quote. It was the one who understood what I was looking for and got me the deal I wanted. I had multiple quotes but the one I chose had the items and needs I was looking for.
It’s not about slowing down everything to a crawl, but about juggling speedy service with making sure things work out in the long run. Our goal is to alleviate the customer’s pain. After a while, your ability to understand and tackle customer needs will have customers returning for additional needs and services.