Hot? Hotter? Or not so very hot…

“From our discussions, I thought you loved this work,” I say to Top Banana, after interviews and emails and a look around at the company.

“Of course! And I never stop thinking about making it better for the customer. That’s why you’re here,” my new client retorts. There’s pain in the voice, and in the short run I’m not going to fix that.

“So why don’t you talk to your customers the way you talk to me?”

Top Banana winces.

We come back to the topic of passion here at Maximum Customer Experience pretty frequently. I’m a passionate person: about Customer Experience, about your business’ growth, and about a heck of a lot of other topics. (Music, chocolate, wine, perfume, old movies, great writing, chocolate…) My passions all find their way in here eventually, because I’ll use any starter to tie in to ideas about delivering delight to your customers and growing your business. Hopefully, looking at MCE like an open box of chocolate (mmm…) once in a while, makes relating it to your own business more fun for you.

As I talk to my clients there is one thing that always comes across in conversation: their devotion—their passion—for what they do for a living. Whether it’s bistro food or web design or running a tailor’s shop or a thousand things in between, they can talk my ear off so happily that I’m carried away, too. I “get” them. I’m amazed at their uniqueness. I’m having fun, and I’m in love with what they do.

Then I visit their website. I watch them at the store with customers. I read their promotional materials, or heaven forbid, read their standardized forms. You know what happens next…

Mind-numbing sameness. Dull faces, hurried staff, “help,” online and and off, that can’t really be called helpful. Even “self-serving” is a stretch, because nobody’s being served at all by repeating the same inoffensive blather as everyone else in the field.

I mention this to you, dear reader, because I know you’re passionate like me. From your comments here at the blog, from your emails, I know you’ve got a twinkle in your eye when you’re describing what you do and what a great help you’ve been to your customers.

I challenge you, today, to have a conversation with a supportive, cheerleader-friend in which you get totally jazzed about your work. Get into the conversation. Answer questions, tell stories, and do it all without needing to promote yourself, without a case of nerves, and most importantly, without a script.

Record it.

Walk away from it until Sunday. Come back with fresh ears. Then listen to the recording: pick out the words and phrases where you were explaining the company in terms no competition can use; pick out the things that made your friend laugh or nod or aha! Listen to your voice, your mood, and even (dare I point it out?) how much younger you sound when you’re so passionately involved.

Take notes as you’re listening. You’ve got the skeleton, now, for rewriting a web page, a brochure, a menu, or a 1/4-page ad that hasn’t been pulling.

Heck, if you really dig into that passion, you may have the voice and the words for completely revamping your Presence.

Trade secret: That passion is exactly where I look for the essence of Maximum Customer Experience for your firm. It takes work to see it, and more work to put it to use, but rocking your customers’ experience has got to start with discovering what gives you joy.

Start talking to your customers the way you’d talk to me.

No official gobbledegook allowed, now: What part of your business are you passionate about?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson