I was having a conversation with a client and he was telling me about a customer engagement, and said to me, I put about $500 in the “should bucket” with that one. I stopped the conversation and asked him what the heck he was talking about.
He explained to me that he learned a long time ago that every time a customer said to him “you should have”, he knew it was going to cost him money. So he calls it his should bucket. I think it is a great way of looking at the work we do for our customers. Whether you are selling actually goods (you should carry x-item) or services (you should have told me that…), the word should from the mouth of our customers means we did not meet expectations. And yes, it will cost you cost money – either in lost sales of goods or re-doing work on the services side.
So, to make your should bucket smaller, think long and hard about if you have enough information to move your customer forward on your service (so they don’t come back and say you should have known) and if you sell products, be sure you know where the customer can get an item that they think you “should” carry.
What should you have done differently? Any lessons you want to share?