You might think you’re in the insurance business. Or you might think you’re in the advertising business. Perhaps you think you’re in the auto repair business. Maybe you believe you’re in the food service business. No matter what business you think you’re in — you’re probably wrong.
You’re actually in the “help customers solve problems” business
When people stop into your auto repair shop they have a car problem and they need you to help them solve it. When people sit down at a restaurant they have a hunger problem and they need your help to solve it.
Sometimes the problems cross over.
There is a famous Zappos customer service story told in the book Delivering Happiness (RIP Tony Hsieh) where a customer called and asked the footwear website for a pizza — and the customer service person had a pizza delivered to the caller! This guy put the fabled story to the test and it passed.
Another company might have said “We don’t sell pizza. We’re a shoe store” and the customer interaction would have ended right there. If you follow the example set by Zappos, not only does the conversation continue, but it becomes legend.
When Zappos ordered that pizza for the customer, they made the customer happy by solving their hunger problem — but they also made an impression the customer will never forget, and one they they will re-tell FOR.EV.ER.
Solving customer problems is the business we’re all really in.
And business is good.