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.
A SUPER action plan to get you out of a bind
Too often we find that someone was appointed in a specific position, shown how the system works and then left to their own accord – that is it. Then, later when things go wrong, other people in the organization are very surprised to learn that this individual gave poor customer service or does not know the first thing about the email program that they must use etc. This oversight is often highlighted during our customer service excellence programs. When we ask our client’s employees what they do when faced with someone screaming at them over the phone and the majority of them honestly answer that they just throw the phone down in their customer’s ear, it is clear that deficiencies exist. Are you shocked? Horrified? Or can you honestly say that all of your staff is very clear on how to deal with these situations? Not only when a customer loses their cool with them, but also when a supplier or their colleagues lose their cool?
You have finally completed the recruitment process and the new employee has signed their employment contract – congratulations! This is however only the beginning of the induction and integration process. For many businesses all efforts at impressing an individual ceases right here, but how you treat someone once they have signed on, plays a key role in how long they decide to stay on or not.
Find Your Business Bull’s Eye
We were recently contracted by a client to assist with streamlining their business processes, because their entire team was fully loaded – and this was hampering their ability to grow. Considering that their turnover had not increased compared to the previous year, they were apprehensive about appointing additional team members.
Globalization made the world a smaller place and while access to information and new technologies became easier, so did customers’ access to alternative suppliers. Along with globalization came increased competitiveness and in today’s economic environment one of the biggest pressures most businesses face, is financial pressure – the pressure on reducing both costs and prices. Failure to reduce costs adequately in a market where customers expect on-going price reductions will erode margins to a point where the sustainability of your business is threatened.
Surviving in a commoditized environment leaves no room for untapped cost reduction opportunities, but how do we make sure that we are not finding ourselves in a bind? The key is to attack the challenge with a SUPER action plan rather than hoping for good fortune and purely relying on ad hoc shots in the dark.