If you know me, you know I'm all about “do the thing that only you can do”. Because the best of the best is the most beautiful thing to behold. Maybe in all the world. And this book is a perfect example of the thing that only you can do. The thing you are the best at.
The resonance for someone who is wired this way, and who values these things… I believe it will be transformational. It certainly was for me. It's taken me some time to process just how deeply this book will impact me, because that will be a lived experience. But emotionally and spiritually, its impact has been seismic.
Most of us (if not, as this book argues, all of us) are in the business of serving customers. Doesn't matter if we're authors, teachers, experts, mothers, salespeople, worker bees, or bosses. We are a customer server. And as the book says, “legendary customer service shouldn't be the exception…it should be the rule.” But this book isn't one of those four ways to a better customer service books. Sure, it starts with a Tony Robbins quote, but it ends with personal revelation, because it's a parable and not a how-to book.
Schott shows you, through the story, just what it can look like when you have a great customer experience, and I will tell you, as a person who cares a great deal about my customer experience, I haven't been so inspired by a book in years. Maybe in my life.
Seeing what care for people can do–what exceptional service can look like–gives me thrill-chills. The possibilities of what this book could do for someone who is already wired to want to meet people's needs in their customer service… Okay, okay. I'll stop gushing and give the review.
But seriously, if this has got you curious, you should read the book. Don't read it all in one sitting, though. Read it for awhile and let it sit and percolate, and then come back to it. Let the story settle in and do its work.
Y'know what… I'm not going to do a review after all. Because one of the beauties of this book is that it's much better if you experience the story itself, rather than have me tell you what it means. So I'm going to say, if this perks your curiosity, spend the $2.99 on Amazon to go read it. But don't just read it to see what it says. Read it if you feel like serving people is your jam, and you're looking for a place to be inspired about what a truly great customer service experience could look like. (I say that because I'm an Amazon affiliate and I will make a penny or two off your purchase, and I don't want to earn that penny or two because you clicked the link and are disappointed with my recommendation. I'd rather give the pennies back than make them under false pretenses.)
So, to illustrate what I mean, rather than give a review, I'll tell you a story. I'll show you what this book has done for me.
I am a coach, and I teach classes. So I deal directly with customers every day, almost all day long. One of the things I said to the “Steve” who told me about this book (you'll get that if you read it) was that I'm not willing for anyone to have a bad experience with my classes or my coaching. I will go to great lengths to make sure that we can solve people's problems. I don't cut people off at time (even though I should) unless I have another appointment scheduled. And there have been a few students who I've had to cut off before we solved their issues because we had other appointments to get to, and I had to end the call before I felt like it was “time” to end it.
I never forget those students. I reach out to make sure they're okay, and that they've gotten what they needed from the lectures and notes.
This often means that I spend a great deal more than the one hour with each student, and one of the things that other coaches have been trying to convince me to do is to cut off my time at the hour, or start charging people for going over time. “You have to get paid what you're worth,” they say.
And I get that. I understand completely, you don't want people to take advantage of you, and you're a busy person.
That is not me, though. I'd rather work myself to the bone and have the person get helped than make money and have them flounder. So I have rejected that advice. For so long.
And when I read this book, I knew why.
Because it matters to me more that people get their problems solved than it does that I get paid what I'm worth. Some people say I'm leaving money on the table. That's okay with me. I get paid plenty. More than I need. And I care an awful lot about how people experience life when they leave my classes.
So I've been resisting this advice. Hard core. For awhile. And when I read Terry Schott's book, I finally realized why, and it gave me the permission I needed to be able to let myself make the choice I knew I needed to make. On a fundamental level, it helped me to question the premise of the advice I had been given. Again, if you know me, you know I am a huge fan of questioning all the premises.
Like a weirdo, though, I haven't been questioning this premise. The Gold Apples gave me permission to do just that. Because if I'm honest, people are happier when they don't have to pay for the extra ten minutes. They're happiest when I fix their problems, and most of the time, it's a combination of “it takes as long as it takes” and also that there's a fair amount of frustration that comes before the fixing. So I don't like leaving people in the middle of their “fix”. And I've been feeling guilty about that.
I no longer feel guilty.
This is just one in a line of changes that I'm going to make to my corporate model because a “Steve” said to me, I think you might be a Gold Apple.
Some of you who are reading this might be Gold Apples. If you're a high Influencer (DISC), there's a good chance this book will resonate with you. If you're a high NF (MBTI), there's a good chance this book will resonate. If you have Connectedness, Woo, Maximizer, Communication, Significance, Responsibility, Strategic, or (of course) Learner, there's a good chance this book will resonate with you. Whether it changes your life or not is, ultimately, up to you. But it has that potential. The more you care about your customer's experience with you, the more I think you might want to read this.
And thank you so much to the Steve who sent this book my direction. It will change my life.