One of the things that happens during boarding on most flights is that people carry on telephone conversations that are impossible to ignore. I used to feel a sense of guilt about hearing what they were saying, but lately I’ve concluded that if they are foolish enough to speak loudly in front of so many people, the speakers must want us to know what they are saying. And there are so many lessons to learn.

On a recent flight to San Francisco (en route to Medford, OR), a woman was complaining to her friend about her treatment at the hands of TSA. Complaining at length. They were disrespectful and rude (oh, the irony) and she would never be returning to Chicago as a result. She had enjoyed her time in Chicago immensely, but this one negative experience outweighed all the good ones.

Since the flight was long and I forgot to bring reading material for the times when electronic devices had to be turned off, I reflected on other stories I had heard that shared this theme. One bad encounter, one bad event, ruining an otherwise positive experience. There are all too many similar stories.

Since this is a blog about client service, it should be pretty clear where I’m going with this. Clients are people too, and their experiences with your firm are more than just their experience with you. You might want to take some time to list all the different “touchpoints” your client has with your firm, and then assess whether each of those experiences is a strong positive one, every single time. If not, you’ve just identified a project list.