Small Improvements To Standout

Josh Griffin

Every week I mow my 1.1 acre yard, and every week I want to be the first one in the neighborhood to do so. You know that feeling when you are the last one on your block that has yet to mow your yard. It’s sucks. Every one has a nice looking yard but you. Well, that happened last week and instead of getting angry or feeling bad, I thought I would do one thing that would make my yard look better and standout from my neighbors, and by the way I live in a cul-de-sac.

Every time my neighbors mow, they always mow too low which makes their yard look almost dead and yellow. So, what I did was decided to raise the mower deck up a little higher, and wow! What a difference! When I did this, my yard was much greener than theirs and was a little higher, but it was still nicely flat and trimmed. I wish I would have taken a picture of it but cause it was so noticeably better than their….I’m sure they were jealous. HA!

What am I trying to say here? How can I relate this to anything regarding business, professionalism, or anything? That’s a good question and I will tell you. (of course I’ll tell you)

Whether you are an employee, an owner of a company, or looking for a significant other, hopefully you want to standout a little bit. I am always looking for better, more efficient ways to do everything. Managing projects, process improvements, customer communication, communicating with the wife (probably the hardest). The best improvements, in my opinion, are the smallest because they are easy to implement, immediately reduce stress, and are noticeable.

Take for instance, Customer Experience (which is not the same as customer satisfaction). Customer experience is something that many companies just don’t get or even know about. One thing you can do, that would go miles ahead of your competition is for every new client ask them 3 simple questions:

  1. How would they like for you to communicate with them? (i.e. Phone, Email, Skype, Slack, SMS, In Person, etc.)
  2. When would they like you to communicate with them? (i.e. mornings, every Monday, every other day, twice a week, etc.)
  3. What would the like you to communicate to them? (i.e. number of hours, stage of lifecycle, dollars spent, what has been done, what is being worked on, etc.)

Why ask these questions? To improve Customer Experience by reducing the stress of your customer…..Stand Out!

The first question allows them to feel comfortable by knowing they will not be forced into talking to you in a way they don’t want to. They will receive your messages in the way they want. Now, it’s up to you to do what you have to do in order to make that happen. They will feel so much happier that they won’t have to learn something new, or download another app on their phone. You are going to make their experience better…easily.

The second question makes them not have to every worry about when to expect an update from you. A steady schedule goes a long way to improving Customer Experience. No more frustrations of the customer asking where you are, what’s going on, or when you will be giving them an update. This is a big one, because I have seen massive fires happen because of lack of consistent communication. In the world of being a Project Management Professional we learn to identify and plan for risk, and this one question will take you beyond satisfying your client expectations. All you have to do is create a recurring calendar event to schedule your client update to ensure that it’s never forgotten and missed….wow, that’s easy too!

The third question makes sure that you give you customer exactly what they need to make them feel better about spending money with you. Remember, they are giving you money so make them feel good or else they won’t spend it with you anymore. Don’t waste their time reporting to them things they don’t care about. Customize the report to show exactly what they want to see. Make a template, use some software to automate it. They client should never have to ask, “Where are we at?” or “How much is left?” or “What are you working on?” Just give it to them so they never have to ask about it….Dang, that’s pretty easy, huh?



What’s so hard about asking three little questions? Nothing really, and it gets your customers immediately feeling good and setting their expectations. They can feel a little relief before they even spend any money with you, because you are listening and are providing a small thing that improves their Customer Experience. Good Job!

Their are many more ways to improve Customer Experience and I would love to share in another post so stay tuned.

What are your thoughts?


If you would like to chat about this topic, improving your processes, software development, and/or project management..Let’s Talk!



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