During our lives, we experience many life changes. Some of them we are prepared for and some of them come flying at us out of left field, catching us thoroughly unprepared. Yet where ever they manifest from, and whether or not, we welcome them, these changes have to be accommodated: that’s life! In business, coping with new demands and accommodating them well, denotes great customer service.
I have a significant personal life change coming up with the arrival of the newest addition to our family – my third child. Happily for sure, this is an event that the whole family is anticipating with excitement and joy. Of course, I have also had many months in which to organize my work schedule and commitments accordingly. With two children to work around already, I have a pretty good idea of what I can realistically take on and what time I will have available to me. I implemented my ‘lady with baby’ strategy some months ago and I’m confident that I’ve got a good action plan. While the countdown is on, (as we all know babies wait for no one!), I am working with the timelines I have set myself more conscientious than ever. Never a time-management slouch at the best of times, I have now become an absolute demon in my dedication to my diary!
One thing which I try to be mindful of is that even the best-laid plans can go awry. Working the majority of the time from a home office takes a good degree of discipline when one is a homemaker, mother and wife, in order to maximize the time available. There have been times when the day has not run to schedule and I have had to learn to be flexible and philosophical, rather than frustrated and frantic, even if sometimes it’s not easy at all! I know it’s no different to sitting at your desk first thing, in a corporate office environment, ready to start working through the morning’s tasks, when an urgent call comes through from an important client who demands immediate attention. All of a sudden the highly organized schedule is pushed aside to accommodate the customer’s immediate needs. That can happen too, whether I am working from home, an overseas hotel or an international conference. Even in transit! There’s no question that one needs to drop everything and attend to the interruption. It’s part of providing exemplary customer service.
Many corporations have a culture where interdepartmental cooperation is excellent because all staff regard internal co-workers and managers to be as much a customer, as the actual clients themselves. I guess you could say that in my situation, I have developed a culture of reciprocal customer service, with my family. Some of my ‘home customers’, may be small, but their needs can be huge! I expect that my newest "customer" (the baby) will be no different.