I still remember the feeling I had when my parents dropped me off at college for the first time. We said our goodbyes outside my dorm and then they were off. I was alone. It was a little scary, I’ll admit.
As I walked back into my dorm, it hit me. This was my time. A chance to build something new. It was a chance to carve out a niche for myself in this unfamiliar territory I knew as college. It was a time for building...new friends, new relationships and new communities.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize college dorm life offers many lessons in customer relationship management. The dorm is analogous to the office, the people you encounter are your colleagues and customers, and the world around you is your market.
Here are five lessons I learned about customer relationship management in my college dorm:
- The best ideas are hatched in an environment of open doors and spirited collaboration, where residents trust and respect the people they live and work with
- There is no pride of authorship…none of us, not even our best friends and professors, has all the answers
- The markets where your ideas are implemented and tested…the classroom, the campus and the local community…are diverse and unfailingly candid
- Your best memories involve people, not books or exams, and are borne of open doors and authentic transparency…the relationships you build in college will last you a lifetime
- It takes four years to build a reputation and a fleeting moment of selfishness or foolishness to destroy it…operate with integrity always and treat the people you encounter the way you would want to be treated
If you’re in the business of serving customers, think back to your own college dorm life experience. What lessons can you apply to your customer relationship management efforts?