Will the Timing Ever Be Right?

Most of us have had an idea for a project that we’re passionate about, only to be met with resistance in the form of, “The timing isn’t right.” The timing excuse might have to do with the economic situation, the labor market, competition, global warming, etc. The list of possible excuses goes on and on.

We’re usually told to be patient, the time will soon be right and then the project can go forward at full speed. The right time, of course, never arrives and the project, which might have made a positive difference in the organization, begins to fade and eventually disappears completely. How many great ideas end up on the scrap heap because “the timing wasn’t right”?

When my wife Debbie and I thought about starting a family, we worried about the timing. Our main concern was: can we afford kids? We knew we wanted children, but wouldn’t it be smart to wait until our financial situation was better? A wise friend offered wise advice – “If you wait until you can afford ‘em, you’ll never have ‘em.”

Well, our two boys, Danny and David, are now 25 and 20 years old, and although we certainly had our financial challenges along the way, they have brought so much joy into our lives, we can’t imagine what life would be like without them.

Timing and Customer Service Improvement

When I work with clients on a customer service initiative, I can always count on the “timing isn’t right” argument to appear at some point. I’m not frustrated by it anymore because I know it’s a natural fear. And, in fact, the timing probably is not right for starting the initiative. Other issues or challenges exist that could (and some would argue should) be taken care of first.

But the timing will NEVER be right. Competing challenges and projects will ALWAYS be there. And if those competing issues block the start of a service improvement effort today, trust me; there’ll be others to block the project next week, next month, next year.

Is there anything more important to your organization’s future than the quality of the relationships with customers? Nothing should stand in the way of at least taking baby steps in improving the customer experience. Paraphrasing the advice Debbie and I received about having children: “If you can’t take the time to delight your customers today, you probably won’t have 'em tomorrow.”

Something to think about: In your organization, what excuses are standing in the way of improving the customer experience?