Is it just me, or do you believe that when we’re faced with a difficult issue, we feel there must be a complicated solution to solve it?
But in most situations, that is the furthest from the truth. Sometimes the simplest steps can solve difficult issues.
A while back I was training for a race, and I kept getting painful blisters on my heel after every long run. I tried different running shoes, but the blisters kept returning. The blisters really hurt, and for days after I found myself limping to keep them from rubbing against my shoes. As the race approached, I found myself dreading it. I knew if the blisters acted up during the run I was done. I knew if I began to limp and change my gait due to the blisters, it was going to be a painful, slow experience. I knew I needed to change something. I’m not one to rush to a doctor, but I was so desperate, I was even willing to make an appointment if it would help.
I decided to try one last step before I saw the doctor. Honestly, I am embarrassed it took me so long to figure it out. The answer was so simple. Rather than put bandages on my heel after the blisters showed up, I put the bandages on first to prevent the blisters in the first place.
I didn’t need new running shoes or see a fancy doctor. All I needed was a few adhesive bandages.
So many times, this occurs in our business as well. We get stuck thinking that solving our difficult issues requires complicated steps. And when we know the solution may be difficult, we tend to avoid the issue and procrastinate trying to solve it — which, of course, makes no sense. The longer we try to avoid it and ignore the issue, the more serious it can become.
Recently, one of our top restaurant accounts began to have a serious mouse issue. What was most frustrating, while this was a very large restaurant, was that there were no issues in the basement or kitchen areas as we would normally expect. All the issues were found in the dining areas. This is a very high-end restaurant, and the last thing they could tolerate were their customers seeing mice running around their dining room during service.
We quickly set up an aggressive program to attack the issue, but the problem persisted.
We knew we had to pull out all the stops. While we had a long relationship with the restaurant, the owners let us know that we were on the clock. If we couldn’t solve the problem, they would have to try another company.
We even brought in a consultant, who was as dumbfounded as we were. We were doing everything right, but still not winning.
That’s when my son Zack stepped in. He knew we had to do something different. He decided to sit in the restaurant all night so he could see firsthand where the issues were coming from. That first night showed him everything. It truly was a unique situation. Some of the mice had made a nest in a small gap behind the menu holder, and others were running up the curtains to a small void area in the ceiling.
It wasn’t complicated – it was really quite simple, but it quickly showed huge results. First, the restaurant managers were impressed that he sat there overnight. This showed dedication they would not get from many other companies. Second, it showed us issues we would never have seen otherwise and enabled us to zero in on the difficult areas to finally solve the issues. Lastly, word of all he did quickly spread from our service managers to our technicians. This not only gave them greater respect for Zack, but for our company as a whole.
This simple act did so much. It helped solve the difficult issue, keep a satisfied customer and increased company morale and dedication across the board. All this by just sitting in a restaurant for a few hours!
What simple things can you do to solve your big problems?
Have a great run!