Dickeson--Warm Fuzzies vs. Cold Pricklies
Start with this little exercise: Make a list of every POC opportunity your business has. Pass that list around, and let your colleagues add any you've missed. Even when you make a collection call for a delinquent payment, it's a POC, an opportunity to demonstrate respect and understanding. It must be genuine and not the phoniness of a recorded "Your call is important to us," or a tiresome "Have a great day."
Then get the gang together and talk about that list. Ask yourselves: "At each POC, what can we at Ajax Printing do to express attentiveness, concern, respect and even affection for our customers and their problems? How do we make it genuine?" Think about it. Talk about it. Even practice by doing it among each other at the company. Get infected and you'll transmit it to each contact.
Concentrate on your points of contact. Go hug your receptionist and customer service reps. They're the front-line troops fighting the Cold Pricklies.
Can you train yourself to be this way? Can you train others? Can you demand it? I don't know. Perhaps it goes to deep motivational values you either have or you don't. We must try. You're a printer and that's a proud and wonderful service opportunity to help people in their lives and businesses.
Nothing is new in what I'm saying. It's the degree of intensity and pervasiveness that has increased. As the Internet technology increases with e-commerce and B2B commerce, warmth in remaining person-to-person points of contact is increasing in direct proportion.
One recent industry newsletter reported that there were 40 new print brokerage startups on the Internet. A recent technology newsletter had an item on a breakthrough technology by a firm named TeraBeam: "wireless multigigabit optics." DSL is here now on phone lines. Cable is now connecting. Fiber optic cables are crossing oceans and continents. Wireless satellite transmission is available immed-iately. And now wireless laser optics. Toner and ink-jet printing are encroaching daily on traditional ink-to-paper, with forecasts reaching as high as 48 percent of traditional printing. Booksellers are beginning installation of print-on-demand book equipment. These initiatives are all happening at mind-boggling speeds. All those digits flying around!