What Time Zone is Your Customer In?

Time zones have always been a thinker’s game to me. I still do not really get Greenwich time or how time measurement is really all made up. I do know the birds and squirrels in my backyard get up and start foraging for food at the same time every day all year long without benefit of the clock, calendar, or whether to fall back or spring forward.

Time litters our language big time. We mark it, buy it, kill it, make it, tell it, and do it. There is downtime, hard time, bad time, big time, and high time. We worry about a nick of time, a stitch of time, and my how time flies. We want to buy time so we have more spare time. We avoid crunch time so we have time on our hands and more time off.

But the best part about time is how we respect it. When I need to call a client in Jakarta I always Google what time it is in Indonesia (12 hours ahead of EST) so I am not waking my client in the middle of the night. I am always careful to specify time zone when setting up a meeting—” your time or mine?” We make decisions in our professional relationships based on start time, lunchtime, and quitting time. What if we were as careful about all our customers’ particulars as were about their time zone?

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Dr. Chip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and innovative service. Global Gurus ranked him in 2018 the #2 keynote speaker in the world on customer service; #1 in North America. He also is the author of numerous national and international best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Magnetic Service, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and Customers as Partners. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

His newest customer service book is the award-winning, best-selling book Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

Dr. Bell has appeared live on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox Business, ABC, CBS, NPR Marketplace and his work has been featured in Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.


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