As a leader, you have undoubtedly experienced the difficult but exhilarating task of drawing in new customers, clients, or team members. As a result, you understand the challenges and the critical importance of getting new, valuable people on board with your product, service, or organization.
But what do you do once you have them? What about after you have made the sale, delivered the service, or finished training the new hire? As time passes, it is far too easy to get comfortable and begin to take for granted the very people you worked so hard to get.
There is a quote that I really love, “When you believe that people are stuck in their seats, it’s not essential, it seems, to keep cajoling them to stay there.”
This dangerous complacency is what is famously known as “the pitfall of lock-in.” If you believe your people or customers will stick with you and your organization because of convenience or because there is simply no other better option around, it becomes easy to stop worrying as much about pleasing them. Instead of delighting your people with new “wow” products or increasingly exceptional service or benefits, you fall into an easy pattern of just settling for “okay.”
This is what a leader should never forget. Even if you are right, and your people will stick with you despite the mediocrity that creeps in, do not forget that people talk. Just as positive word of mouth can be an organization’s best friend, negative word of mouth can be its worst enemy. As your people become disillusioned, they push others away instead of drawing them in.
So, if you want to keep your customers, clients and team long term—and attract more—do not get too comfortable. Do not settle for offering less to your people just because you perceive they are “locked in.” Instead, keep delighting them, even when the initial thrill of drawing them in has worn off!