Why Staples Should be Our Business Role Model
“That was easy” has become Staples’ trademarked tagline. A few years ago the office supply chain produced little red “easy” buttons as a promotional gimmick, but the gimmick struck a chord. “That was easy” has evolved into Staples’ brand promise. A promise that when you do business with Staples, the company will make your life easier.
Wouldn’t we all like that?
I mean, who wants to deal with businesses that make your life more difficult?! And yet, many companies do make our lives harder. It may be unintentional, but the courier service that arrives at 4:30 and doesn’t have time to get your delivery across town by 5:00 to an important client makes life harder for everyone. Or the printer who promises to deliver your books well before the keynote speech you’re scheduled to make at a major conference, and then is a no-show. Or, more simply, the restaurant or hotel that loses your reservation and has no sense of responsibility for the situation they’ve then created.
They make life harder.
More common, of course, is the service business that is unresponsive or pushes back on simple requests. Not only does this delay resolution of whatever your issue was – maybe a page on your website is displaying an error message, or your newsletter doesn’t go out on time – but it increases your stress level, often to the point that you’re distracted and less able to tend to other business.
Understanding how making life harder impacts clients, we should all emulate Staples.
What can we as ghostwriters do to make our clients’ lives easier? It’s a rhetorical question, but I think one worthy of consideration.
What do clients appreciate most? I have some ideas:
- A speedy response to inquiries
- Having solutions already identified to problems that come up (I’m trying to train my children to think this way, to come prepared to a discussion regarding a problem with a solution at-the-ready)
- Being available during off hours, when they really need you
- Providing help with simple issues or tasks without being billed
- Anticipating and addressing issues before they erupt into problems
Mostly though, I think clients appreciate when ghostwriters do what they say they will do, to the best of their ability, in the time frame promised.
Do you do anything special to make your clients’ lives easier?