How Maintaining a Quick Response Time is Killing Your Quality of Service
Do you believe that a good service is the one with the quickest response time?
Perhaps you’ve even been rewarded for your prompt communication, as most of us have.
We were sitting in a session and I still remember the discomfort that came across her face.
The way she shifted in her chair when I gave her one of the easiest, but hardest, tasks to do.
“Delete your business email from your phone,” I said. She stared back at me and I could feel her resistance as she sifted through the fears in her head, also knowing that if she didn’t do things differently her business and her health would be sacrificed.
Why We Believe Quicker is Better
Most people believe that a quicker response time is better.
We believe this because we are told that a quicker response time is better, and we as people are incredibly impatient. We want what we want, and we want it now.
We believe this because sales have been built on urgency and scarcity, ingrained fear that if we don’t move fast enough - we lose.
We have been conditioned as business leaders to relate our quality of service to the timeliness of our service.
Believing that a quick response time makes us ahead of our competition is why people are burnt out, living in fear, and tied to their email inboxes from morning to night.
Nobody wants to miss an opportunity.
For too long a quick response has been a marker of good service, but in reality, we aren’t giving our best quality service when we respond from fear - which is exactly what we do when we step on our team's toes to respond faster or ignore our families to answer something that could wait another hour (or 24 hours)...
When you respond out of fear, as quickly as possible, you are reacting instead of creating a proactive response.
The problem is your fear of losing or missing out is controlling how you are living your days, instead of you being in the driver's seat of your life and business.
The Way to Provide Better Quality
Giving yourself the space and time to think of the highest quality response that can actually save you time (and money) down the line doesn’t come into view when fear is driving the bus.
What you want most as a business owner is to provide a service that creates client retention, and referrals and makes a true impact in the world. That can’t be achieved in a constant place of reactivity.
What would happen if instead of running to be the first one to put out the fire, you let it burn for a bit longer so that you show your team you trust them… and formulate a response that could prevent future fires?
The goal of a business owner is to provide the highest quality of service, the best product, and the most excellent experience.
How can you think, see or lead clearly if you are always standing in a burning building?
Truthfully, you can’t.
Responding as quickly as possible is doing you, and your clients a disservice.
You are missing necessary pieces and not doing your best work.
Paving A New Way
As leaders, CEOs, and founders it is our duty to rewrite the way we do business and better the future - for our teams, our clients, and our children.
Let’s normalize longer turnaround times on projects for the sake of higher-quality work.
Let’s normalize shorter work hours for our mental health.
Let’s normalize white space is a requirement for our calendars because our creativity and bigger vision require it.
Let’s normalize reading, gathering data, and formulating a well-thought-out response that isn’t rushed because we are afraid of making someone mad.
Let’s normalize the way forward being a path that we have time to sit, think about, and then create instead of being in a constant problem-solving mode.
Let’s normalize understanding on both sides of the responsibilities that are outside our work, the families we are doing it all for.
If you are leading your business and constantly responding to everyone and everything around you, tied to your email and looking for space to breathe, start here:
Delete your business email from your phone, anyone who urgently needs you knows how to find you.
Raise your standards and change your expectations in your operations, and promise a response within 48-72 hours instead of 24.
Stop answering messages when your out-of-office message is up.
Create and actually hold boundaries around your work schedule, and give yourself permission to close up for the day with the remaining things on your to-do list.
Stop putting your personal cell phone number in your out-of-office email.
Utilize ‘Do Not Disturb’ on your phone.
Let’s make a promise as leaders to start normalizing time for formulating high-quality, more efficient responses and giving better service because we take the time necessary to give the best response.
When you focus more on the quality and depth of your work instead of always rushing to respond, your clients will reap the benefits and so will you.
Oh and my client who was resistant to deleting her email? She made the change anyway, created an hour without phones after work for her and her family every day, started delegating more to her team and within a week was less anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed.
If you are sacrificing your quality of life for a quicker response time, you’re doing it wrong and it’s time to turn things around.