Do You Have a Customer Trim?

Chip Bell

02/16/21 | Customer Experience


Do You Have a Customer Trim?

Boating is one of my passions. Few hobbies are more peaceful than a slow boat ride with your favorite beverage around the breathtaking lake on which I live. Or, more exciting than the hard pull of a large big mouth bass on a fishing line off the front of my pontoon boat.

One of the features on my boat is the trim button on the throttle. Like the gas pedal on a vehicle, the throttle controls the speed of the boat. The trim button embedded in the throttle controls the outboard engine’s angle in relation to the plane of the boat. As such, it controls the smoothness of the ride. Set wrong, and you are in for a bumpy ride, especially at higher speeds.

A few years ago, I was jogging near the grocery store I frequent. I remembered we needed a couple of items, so I jogged into the store and picked them up. But once in the check-out line, I realized I had no cash or credit card (I only jog with a driver’s license and a house key). Without hesitation, the clerk said, “Oh, that’s okay. I see you in here all the time. Just write your name and amount on this piece of paper and pay us the next time you are in the store.” Smooth sailing; no hassle.

I once owned a gorgeous antique Mercedes 240S sedan. When it needed a minor repair, I took it to Brothers Auto Service. Turned out the fix was going to take a bit longer than the hour or so thought initially. And, I had a few errands to run in the area. The repair shop owner, Nicky Brothers, was out of loaners—but he had a trim. “Take my car,” he said as he handed me his car keys.” You can guess what he drove. A brand-new Mercedes sedan. Smooth sailing; no hassle.

Trim is all about eliminating drag on your customer’s path to getting the outcome they desire. It takes knowing the customer well enough to anticipate issues; it requires trusting the customer; and it takes caring enough to have solutions ready to ensure smooth sailing. Make sure you have a trim button on all your customer service processes.