Does your team have a relationship with your product?
Does your team have a relationship with your product? If not, don’t you think they should? Guest writer Isaac Rollor brings back the personal side of service with this week’s blog post.
Boeing recently delivered the last 747 aircraft. Boeing coined the name “Queen of these skies” for this plane. It’s a fitting nick name, this plane has allowed millions of people worldwide to fly at an affordable price, assisted NASA missions, humanitarian relief efforts and many more great accomplishments. The final delivery of the last 747 to be produced was a momentous occasion. A national news network streamed the delivery on live TV. It was a legitimate ceremony with flags and speeches and honorable mentions. As I watched this spectacle, I heard another onlooker make a comment “What’s the big deal? It’s just a plane.”
This comment was surprising to me, how could someone not understand how many engineers worked long days to perfect the design of this plane? How could someone not understand the many hours technical troubleshooting teams worked to keep this fleet of planes in the sky? How could someone not realize that there are thousands of aircraft mechanics, pilots, and a legion of support personnel who have a personal relationship with this product?
As I thought more deeply about this impossibly insensitive comment, I realized that some people don’t have relationships with products, most professionals will never have an actual relationship with any product. As a technical trainer for many years, I built relationships with Dozers, Loaders, Excavators and Trucks. Maybe this sounds silly but I don’t think I am alone in this feeling. I knew the products so well that I could troubleshoot and fix them when it was not operating correctly. I could teach others about the product, I could write articles about these products, I could operate these products and see the results of my machine’s labor at the end of the day. There were many other technical people that I worked with who felt a strong connection to the products our OEM was building. We even identified ourselves as “The dozer guy” The Truck guy” or the “Excavator guy” based on our expertise. Our professional identity was directly related to a product or several products.
Over the years I have spoken to equipment buyers who told me that their final decision came down to product support and total cost of ownership. I know from experience that the best product support can only be delivered when your team has a relationship with the product you sell. A team whose identity is attached to the success of a product will work tirelessly to see it succeed. Think about this, if your flagship product was being retired from production, what would your team think and say about this?