The Perfect Game

In 143 years of professional baseball history, there have only 21 recorded perfect games.  I live just outside of Seattle and one happened here over the weekend.  Unfortunately for our Seattle Mariners, they were on the “receiving end” of the game – losing to the Chicago White Sox and going down in history.

The “Perfecto” is indeed rare and hat’s off to Philip Humber of the White Sox for throwing a great game.  I heard about the game while driving – and listening to sports radio.  Granted – I’m in Seattle and we just got beat and we just got into the Hall of Fame by being on the opposing side of the perfect game but the sports commentator brought up a very interesting observation – the last batter thought he had been walked – and the umpire called a somewhat “late” strikeout which due to a dropped ball by the catcher also required a throw down to 1st base.

As I mowed my overgrown lawn on Sunday, I was wondering about the game and the umpire.  Do you remember Armando Galarraga?   On June 2, 2010, Armando Galarraga of the Tigers was charged with a single when first-base umpire Jim Joyce incorrectly ruled Jason Donald of the Cleveland Indians safe on an infield grounder. After the game, Joyce acknowledged his mistake: “I just cost that kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.”

Here’s the point – people LOVE a perfect game. It makes a great story.  It makes history.  A spoiled perfect game just isn’t very interesting.

What’s more interesting is that the competition (NHL Playoffs, NBA Playoffs, NFL Draft) are all getting lots of airtime right now – and a perfect game – that very rare event would put baseball as top billing!!!  So – was this a “perfect game” conspiracy??  Honestly – I don’t know but I do know that a great story is critical.

Customer engagement is all about a great story.

Your customers want a good deal (of course) but they also want to know you operate your business with integrity.  They want to trust that you will deliver on promises.  They want to understand your principles – why you do what you do (more than just making a buck).

Your competition is also telling their story and trying to get “top billing” – possibly with your customers.   It is imperative that you tell your story honestly and constantly.  It’s very much like saying “I love you” to your significant other – basically an everyday occurrence.

So let your customers know you love them – as often as the relationship requires and leave the rare “perfect game” messaging to the record books.

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