Oh, the difficulties of business ownership! There are SO many hats to wear; so much to juggle. If you’re a customer and the customer service is less than stellar, a little grace goes a long way. Write a note, not on Yelp but to the owner. Be sure to give a compliment sandwich when doing so. Usually owners have an idea or two something is amiss. Gentle direction from you, the customer, can help realign.
If you’re an owner, kudos to you! Business has its share of ups and downs. Ride the waves of those high times and look at the low times as opportunities for growth. As long as we’re all moving forward, growing, learning, and pressing on, we’re on the right track.
Maybe something below resonates with you. If so, move to action! Pick something and pursue it with vigor. Your business, personal, and employee growth, as well as your customer satisfaction will all be improved as a result. Onward!
There are a number of ways leadership falters here. The biggest fail is not prioritizing customer serve as a vital part of the customer experience. If team meetings are all about the numbers, growth goals, and product perfection, the message is loud and clear. Product and money are priorities over people.
Why is this upside down?
Product over people is bass-ackwards. Your customer will forgive a so-so or inconsistent product IF their experience with the employee is an excellent one. They’ll even come back and try again. Why? In this day and age of nose in the phone and computer, people are longing to be seen. Businesses have a fantastic opportunity to fill a burning need for their customers. The answer is simply putting the customer service as top priority.
If your customer has a horrible person experience but receives a good product, they’ll definitely not refer the place of business, bring their friends and colleagues. Would you? No. No customer wants to be treated like an ass. I know I don’t. I sure wouldn’t bring a friend to join me either.
Waiting to hire until there’s a pressing need is a recipe for disaster. Topgrading by Bradford Smart changed my hiring thinking. In a nutshell: we’re all looking to hire A players. Most entrepreneurs are A players (it’s a loose tie in to grading in school).
Employers don’t celebrate with a “yippee” when they have to settle for a mediocre warm body to fill a position, no. Problem is, with shotgun hiring, employers are unlikely to consistently find those A players. Why? Because A players have jobs and integrity. They’ve been hired somewhere and will give proper notice if/when leaving.
Hiring needs to be looked at long term by a boss. Hiring is the long game. Constantly look. Constantly be hiring.
Meeting? What meeting?
Not having regularly scheduled meetings is a sure-fire way to make certain the boss’s vision is not communicated, priorities are not known, training doesn’t happen, employees don’t feel heard, and employees quit.
Training? What training?
Most businesses do great training processes, operations, and product but they fall very short training how to provide a consistently great Customer Experience through Customer Service. Can you imagine a business that devoted the same (or even ½) the amount of time training people with Customer Services skills as training processes? Now THAT would be a game changer.
The Miracle Worker
Expecting a new hire to automatically know how to give excellent service, just based on their interview time is a grave mistake. Employees have a vast background of experiences, knowledge, skills, (positive and negative. One thing they absolutely do not have is the skill of Mind Reading. Employees, especially new ones, cannot possibly succeed at knowing the employer’s expectations without some training, knowing the company mission, culture, and some mentoring. Increase odds of all-around success by creating an onboarding program that educates the employee.
At What Cost?
Yes, all of this is time consuming. Yes, all of this is costly.
But what are the costs of not tackling these items? The cost is great in lost revenue. Being the best or at the top of the rankings doesn’t happen by accident. Coaches help their athletes round out skills, practice weak areas as well as strengths. Roger Federer cannot just focus on practicing his forehand and neglect the backhand or drop shot. No, if he’s to be the best he has to practice it all.
Same goes for business owners. Employers have to tackle the hard stuff, the stuff that isn’t so fun and/or they’re not particularly good at.
Small Bites – the way to eat that elephane
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be done all at once! Find one area that’s a weak spot and focus on it; really dive in. Maybe it’s getting a consistent meeting schedule for staff. One improvement at a time keeps us all moving forward. That’s the most important thing. Forward movement. One success at a time.
We can’t create a movement without your help. Connect us with other inspired business owners who passionately pursue greatness. Thanks a million for sharing this post!