Keep it Simple and Straightforward. That’s my tagline, and my motto for most everything in my life.
Life is good – until panic steps a foot in your door.
Your designer creates a beautiful site for you. You’re on top of the world.
But then someone visits your sales page, clicks the buy now button, and next thing you know, you get an email stating that your customer can’t gain access to the product.
Your heart sinks, you’re embarrassed, and you panic. You have visions of your whole business crashing and burning.
Why do you panic?
Is it embarrassment or is it because you don’t know what to do? You’re sure it will be a bad reflection on you and your business. You panic because you think the worst.
I get it, really I do!
And I don’t want to make light of it, because if the situation isn’t rectified, it could have serious consequences.
But these things happen.
The important thing is that you or your web developer dig to find a solution.
The general process is to start with the simple, the obvious.
The first thing a computer tech will ask you if you’re having a problem with your computer is if it’s plugged in and is the power on? Seems silly, but sometimes it can be that simple.
Did the customer receive a payment receipt and an email with instructions for accessing their product? Did it go into their spam folder? With providers putting stronger spam filters in place, there is a very real possibility that they were sent to your spam folder.
If you received the receipt but not the email, it could be a glitch in the system (this post isn’t about all the technical things that can cause a glitch).
Determining what is causing the glitch is much like being a detective solving a crime or a physician trying to diagnose a patient. We need to look at the symptoms, follow the evidence, rule out the things that it’s not, and find the solution.
When you’re in a panic, minutes can seem like hours. You can’t think straight, your mind runs wild. You can’t breathe.
I love the acronym KISS (Keep It Simple and Straightforward).
You’ve probably heard ‘keep it simple, stupid’ which is so negative, or ‘keep it simple, soldier’.
But I like ‘keep it simple and straightforward.’ It keeps me from becoming overwhelmed when faced with complex situations.
I have a way of complicating things. I think it’s because I want to know it all, which of course is an impossible expectation. It causes a great deal of frustration and a feeling that I’m stupid. Can you relate?
What I have found, though, is that by trying to learn it all, and pushing through the tough stuff, it enables me to make things simple and straightforward for someone else. I can teach the basics of an activity, and I can answer the tough questions when others get overwhelmed.
So what can YOU to reduce the overwhelm?
Don’t get caught up in the emotion of your customer. Be a fact gatherer. Ask questions like:
- When did you first notice there was an issue?
- Were you ever able to gain access to your product?
- What changed since you were last able to gain access?
Gathering as much information as possible tells the customer you care and it prevents you from going back and forth as you think of more questions.
Try to be as thorough as you can because if you need to pass the information onto your web developer or a software developer, all of that information is vital to finding a solution.
For instance. You send an email and it gets returned as undeliverable. What do you do?
In order for your provider to help you, they need to know what the problem is. What did the message say was the reason for the error? Not sure? Copy the whole message, they can decipher it. They’ll want to know what email you sent it from, and to. Without that information, they can’t help you, and you get frustrated.
Keeping it Simple on a personal level
Enough about business, what about your personal life? (This is taken from 10 Tips to KISS Your Life but I thought it was worth sharing.)
Instead of agonizing over which diet you should choose to go on, simply ask yourself what the healthiest foods are to eat. You already know the answer. Stick to that.
Take what people say at face value. There is no need to waste your energy wondering what their ulterior motive is, or if they are not telling the truth about things. Keep it simple and accept their truth.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. If communication is simplified both ways, you can be much happier knowing that everything is out in the open. There is no point wasting time on mind games.
If you are avoiding a particular task, you are just wasting your time, and possibly other people’s time too. Set a timer for 25 minutes and use that time to get the task done. If you haven’t finished within that time period, take a 5 minute break, and set the timer again and resume working toward completing the task. This is called the Pomodoro Technique. It really works.
When you are really busy and struggling to get everything done, do what every KISSer does, and write a list. Write everything you have to do, including deadlines, and then number everything in order of importance. Work your way through the list from most important to least important. Be sure to cross things off as you go along as this will give you a sense of accomplishment.
No matter what work you do, create boundaries. When it’s work time, focus on your work. When it’s not work time, focus on your life. This is super simple, yet not everyone does it. You’ll find you are more productive in and out of work, have a better family life and feel happier.
What activities do you enjoy most? These are the things you want to dedicate your spare time to. Adding deliberate enjoyment to your life makes you happier, more productive and more fun to be around.
Next time you are faced with any challenge (and there will be a next time), remember to stay calm, gather the facts, and seek the solution.