Over the last 18 months, I have had three very different customer service experiences with equipment returns and repairs. As experiences go, I believe this also had a valuable customer service lesson concealed within them.
Will your customers find excellence in the details of dealing with your company? Ultimately it is the detail that distinguishes one competitor from the next. As an example, we were recently looking for a supplier delivering a specific service that we did not have any prior experience with. We did our research and found that that particular service industry had two major role players. When we decided to make contact with them, we had absolutely no preference, so our initial plan of action was to get a quote from both of them and base our decision on that. Interestingly enough company A promptly answered their telephone line when we phoned, was friendly and professional over the phone and by responding impressively promptly on our enquiry, had an exclusivity contract signed and sealed with us within 36 hours of us first making contact with them. Company B had listed the incorrect phone number on their website and to date has not provided us with any feedback on our email enquiry. Although it could be that their pricing is more lucrative than that of company A, by not paying attention to the detail of having the correct telephone number on their website or swiftly responding to email enquiries received, they have lost out on gaining our business going forward. Not only on the revenue, but also on that portion of market share – not to mention whose name will come to mind first when we refer others wanting to make use of the same type of service.
What would you do if you had the equivalent of an extra 30 working days every year to spend as you wish? Would you use it to travel, spend time with family, finish that DIY project at home, read that book you have been yearning to get to, take up a new hobby, get fit, take up a training course, or go out and find more business?
More free time for you will have knock-on effects for productivity within your business, and other aspects of your life. The following steps are guaranteed to increase your personal productivity and free up 240 hours or more of your time.
Being an innovative organisation is about cultivating an organisational culture that is dynamic, creative, continuously experimenting and constantly evolving. To accomplish this, you need to convince staff to become involved with contributing suggestions as well as the implementation thereof and to foster a habit of highlighting challenges, identifying root causes and taking effective preventative action. This may sound incredibly simple, yet the majority of organisations either struggle to get it right or think they have got it right, but are frustrated that the results are not living up to their expectations.
I was having a bad morning. I had finished my assignment in Gauteng early and was trying to reschedule the flight on which I was booked, so that I could return home earlier instead of spending a number of hours waiting at the airport for my originally scheduled flight to depart. What I thought to be a simple request was (unfortunately for me) wreaking havoc and causing a lot of unwelcomed frustration for me, as I was being sent back and forth from one queue to another. Eventually my requested change came to effect, but I had to hurry or I would miss the opportunity to board on time. Finally I found myself in the home stretch to the plane – all hot and bothered, when my paths crossed with that of a lady we will call Fiona.
The world in which we operate is changing almost daily… Technology is continuously changing… The workforce is changing… The environment is changing… Legislation is changing… Customer requirements are changing… The competition is changing… Globalization has made the world a smaller place and while access to information and new technologies have become easier, this is equally true for customers’ access to alternative suppliers. Since many of these changes are not necessarily within your direct control, the question to ask yourself is what to do when everything is changing? The reality is that the only way to effectively respond and ensure that you remain relevant and stay ahead of the pack, is to continuously improve.
There is a saying that variety is the spice of life. Most people prefer variety when it comes to choosing the right frame for their reading glasses, a tie, a shirt, a dress or shoes, but more often than not people are less interested in a variety of opinions, they struggle to communicate in a variety of languages and they find it challenging to understand and be tolerant of a variety of customs and religions. The reality is that variety really is everywhere and it exists internally and externally to your company, stretching beyond your employees to suppliers and clients as well. It is therefore only natural that conflict will arise from time to time and it is critical for managers to be able to handle conflict when it arises, as well as develop ways of preventing conflict from becoming damaging to their teams.
When hearing the words “reward and recognition”, most people only think of how this links to their employees. The concept of reward and recognition is much more widely applicable in business and in life. One area for example, that a lot of people overlook, is the powerful impact that reward and recognition could have if it is used to instil excellence in their Supply Chain.
We are all faced with a seemingly endless stream of choices throughout every day. There are so many, that we sometimes fail to recognize them, but the truth is that you always have a choice. Some choices we make almost unconsciously – like brushing our teeth or putting on a clean set of clothes. Other choices we make because we do not like the consequences of the alternative. An example is going to work in a job where you aren’t very happy, because you like receiving the salary and enjoy the things it enables you to buy. Ultimately you do have a choice and the more you become aware of this and the more you consciously make your choices, the more empowered you will feel.