There is a gorgeous golf course at the end of my driveway. My lakefront house sits on the water but right near the 13th tee. It is a Jack Nicklaus-designed course and the setting for many golf tournaments. While the 13th hole is gorgeous; the 14th hole gets the golfer’s laments in the bar at the end of an arduous eighteen.
Almost the entire hole is played over water where the lake cuts into the golf course. Despite the fact that it is a mere 186-yard par-three hole, many a golfer has been psychologically distracted by the giant water trap and had their ball land in the water. Or, it rolls in the lake after briefly landing on the green due to the hole’s healthy slope on the lakeside. But, the best golfers know a secret—focus only on the hole and don’t get distracted by the fact that your golf ball will be flying over water.
It is a powerful lesson for great customer service. Customers notice when your focus is not on them. And, there are plenty of water traps in the world of service—from paperwork to procedures, to long lines, to angry customers, to the fact that it is only ten minutes from time to punch out and go home. Customers value those organizations that keep their focus on the source of their profits, growth, and every single employee’s paycheck. Don’t get distracted. Focus on the green and your customers will do likewise.