The Power of Now

The root canal had a hiccup.  Three weeks after the dental procedure, I called my world-class dentist to alert him that mild discomfort had returned to my wayward tooth.  I was calling for an appointment.  “He wants to see you right now,” said the receptionist.  Minutes later I was in the dentist chair!

Year-end tax planning yielded a couple of unexpected technical questions.  I called my tax accountant to set up a phone appointment.  “If you have the time I can put you through to her now,” said her assistant.  Seconds later I was in a conversation I predicted I would have to wait several days to have.

My car odometer matched the “Get an Oil Change” sticker on my windshield.  When I called my auto repair and maintenance shop to schedule a time for them to change the oil, rotate and balance the tires and any other needed maintenance, I got a friendly voice that said:  “Can you bring your car in right now?”

My dentist, accountant, and auto repair shop all have very successful practices.  And, they carefully manage their client load to match their work load.  With careful attention to effective business management they are able to successfully trade on their capacity to rely on the power of now.

Recently we were being introduced by a client to facilitate a service vision session for his organization.  During the short introduction Jerry referred to our service vision which includes as a foundational element of the experience we strive to consistently deliver the following; “Access that is easy, quick and perpetual; response that is stunning”.  He mentioned how surprised he was when he emailed us asking if we could schedule a call for the next day or two and consistently receiving the answer “How about today in an hour?”

Customers today have a new mental clock when it comes to service.  Order shoes from before you go to bed at night and they are delivered to you right after breakfast the next morning.  Now has become the new fast.  Overnight has been replaced by “It’s on the way.”  We all know that instant is sometimes impossible.  And, we do not expect miracles as standard trade.  However, if your goal is remarkable service, what will it take for you to say to your customers, “I can take care of that right now”?

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© Chip Bell Group, 2015.  Courtesy of John R. Patterson (  Permission is given to download and distribute this article as long as it contains this copyright notice.

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