Do you remember the Dr. Seuss story about an elephant named Horton who believes he hears the voices of an entire village of people (the "Whos") on a speck of dust? Only Horton could hear the Whos. All the other animals in Horton’s kingdom thought he was crazy. To keep Horton from wasting his time protecting the Whos, a mean kangaroo and some crazy monkeys tried to boil the speck of dust.
Just before the dastardly deed was to be done, a small boy from Whoville added his voice to the other Whos, and his yell enabled the Whos to be heard by all in Horton’s Kingdom. It was a little voice, but when added to the rest, it helped the Whos break through the sound barrier. It worked because every person in the village, and let me emphasize EVERY person, had a common goal.
Think about all the voices in your organization, in your business life. Are you tapping into all the resources available to you for advice, guidance, input, and resources? Are you able to get all your key stakeholders and staff on the same page, or are assignments made with the mere hope that everybody gets their job done?
Unfortunately, most companies that tout customer service in marketing, or preach customer service internally, don’t leverage their key sources of ideas – customers and staff. But you can and should tap these resources.
Survey and/or interview your customers and your employees. Ask them to reveal their minds and hearts. What do they see as the most likely changes to the business environment over the next 3-5 years? What do you need to do now to be successful then? And ask what must be done in the short run to lock-in employees and guarantee customer loyalty now so that change won’t bring lost business and lower revenue.
Use this research to learn and to create a common direction and a common focus. Make sure you’re getting all the input you need, down to the last Who in Whoville.
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