• Bill Leinweber

  • About Bill Leinweber

    Bill Leinweber's mission is to help businesses and organizations grow by combining efficient processes with great customer and employee experience.

    Bill is the Chief Experience Officer & Owner of Landmark Experience LLC, a consultancy, where he loves to help business leaders walk in their customers' shoes and devise memorable and meaningful experiences for both customers, guests, visitors, employees and business partners. After all, have you ever heard of customer loyalty and business growth without GREAT customer experience?

    Bill's 30 year career spans retail and office products distribution operations in both small, family-owned and global mega-businesses. He has managed customer service operations, sales support, customer on-boarding and business intelligence teams while also serving as an internal consultant and subject matter expert. Bill has helped his past employers improve their customer engagement processes and achieve their goals of customer experience excellence and loyalty.

    Bill loves to talk and speak about customer experience as well, so don't be afraid to ask!

    Bill Leinweber
    Landmark Experience
    513-227-9037
    www.LandmarkExperience.com

Little Billy Leinweber Breaks an Old Habit

Yes I had hair back then and the typewriter weighed more than I did

Nobody likes change. Well, at least very few people I know. Yet, one of the worst things for a business is to stay the same. Sure it’s easier to keep things just as they are and it’s certainly more comfortable. We like routine. Don’t rock the boat, right?

Business leaders, I want you to venture out into your front lines and pick a process or procedure and ask your staff, “Why do we do this? And why is it done in this way?” If you hear anything at all like, “We’ve always done it this way,” then you’ve just stumbled on a huge opportunity. An opportunity to improve and do things better. “We’ve always done it this way” is the worst reason in the world to continue doing something. I know. And just to show you how committed I am, I’m going to stop doing something I’ve done for the past 43 years. I’m going to do something differently.

I learned to type at the age of nine. It was summer school between fourth and fifth grade. I think it was a punishment because I don’t remember volunteering. I just remember I went to summer school and had Living Science (like outdoor biology) and typing class. That was the first and last time I ever went to summer school. Yeah, I can hear you laughing but how many of you have the courage to put a 4th grade photo of yourself on the internet? Anyway, I remember the day the News Herald photographer and reporter came into the class to take the picture. Definitely a slow news day in Mentor, Ohio. The newspaper story begins, “Little Billy Leinweber didn’t even look big enough to reach the typewriter keys…” And for those of you who can’t remember, that big metal object in front of me is called a typewriter. It’s what we used to type letters and envelopes and other documents before computers. You can stop laughing now.

The really cool thing is, by the time computers did become commonplace I already knew how to type and I mean using all my fingers and without looking at the keyboard. And all these years, I thought I was doing it right because “I’ve always done it this way.” Then about a month ago, I read a blog post somewhere and the author was saying, “Anyone who puts 2 spaces between sentences is doing it wrong!” What? Are you kidding? That’s the way I was taught to type 43 years ago. One space between words and two spaces between sentences. What the heck was this guy talking about?

As it turns out, the two-spaces-between-sentences thing was because typewriter characters were monospaced, meaning each letter took up the same amount of space. If you typed two sentences one over the other, the letters in the top row would line up in columns with the letters in the row beneath. A computer produces proportionally spaced characters (unless you use a font like Courier which mimics a typewriter font). With proportional spacing the letter “i” for example takes up only 1/5 the space of the letter “m.” With proportional spacing, there is no longer a need to put two spaces between sentences. Hmmm… I don’t remember getting the newsflash.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to change a habit that you began 43 years ago? Well, it’s not easy but I’m going to do it. I’m going to re-condition myself to type only one space between sentences. Why? To be cool and “with it?” No, because it actually does look better in print and on-screen. It’s more pleasing to read. It’s a better way. Oh sure, I could say the heck with it, I’m going to just keep typing the way I’ve always done it. It would be much easier for me to not change a thing especially because I don’t even have to think about it. My thumbs automatically go tap-tap on the space bar every time I get to the end of a sentence so, it’s going to take some effort. But isn’t it good practice now and then to make a change for the better and not use “We’ve always done it this way” as an excuse to stay comfortable?

Customer experience in your business and your business in general will never be at its absolute best if you continue doing things as you’ve always done them because it’s simply easier. Take a look around your business. Be open. Turn on your peripheral vision. Why do we do this? Why do we do it this way? If the reason is “We’ve always done it this way” then start digging. Is it the best way? Are you willing put forth the effort to make your business better? You CAN do it. Take a hint from Little Billy Leinweber. If he can change something he learned when he was nine, you can make a change too!

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