An old Chinese proverb says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”


In the last 5 years the rapid change in technology and online communications has caused many professionals to quickly adapt to a new form of doing business or struggle at every turn to serve their customers.

Frankly, organizations who “give the man/woman a fish” by solving the problem as a quick fix rather than teaching their customers/employees/members are the ones to blame. Serving according to outdated practices enables the individual to repeat behaviors inconsistent with today’s technology causing them to suffer in other areas of business and life.

Examples of outdated practices include:

  • Not requiring an email address to participate
  • Accepting registration forms by phone and fax
  • Performing a Google Search on behalf of someone
  • Fixing a simple tech issue that could have been resolved by watching a video

The “Fix it for me” mentality has to go.

How can you enable your customers and employees so they can be more resourceful?

  • Ask for permission to teach them how to find the answer to their problem.
  • Produce videos to answer frequently asked questions to be easily be shared.
  • Visually show where links and resources can be found rather than tell someone.
  • Reinforce “What’s in it for them” by showing them it is quicker to solve the problem themselves rather than spend time on hold, waiting for a reply, and their time is worth money.


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