Are Your Business Operations Ruining Your Business?
Are your internal company systems, software, processes, and tools creating barriers to acquiring, serving, and keeping your customers? Before your answer “NO WAY” consider the following:
Any organization that says its operations and overall business performance are fine should take heed. As a business owner, you may think you’re just fine but…your employees are the ones who likely cannot respond to your customer’s needs and cannot serve your top customers the way they (and you) want them to because of your existing outdated policies, procedures, systems, and/or lack of logical, effective and clearly defined standards.
How can you tell if you have problems that MUST be addressed? Consider the many examples of dysfunctional 20th Century dinosaurs like: Sears, Bank of America, A&P, the Post Office, JC Penny, the Gap, Dell, etc. Can you think of any others?
Some questions you can and SHOULD ask:
• Do you have a contact management system that provides complete customer purchase history that your customer care representatives can view?
• Have you entered any seasonal/promotional campaign discounts into your point-of-sales system so those discounts are applied to a customer’s purchase?
• How easy is it for your clients to return products they purchased from you?
• How hard is it for your clients to reach someone in your company when and how they prefer?
• What is it really like buying from my business? Why not hire someone to MYSTERY SHOP your business and provide you with their feedback?
• How frequently do your employees experience phone, email or Internet service outages?
• Do you update your client’s contact information on a regular basis?
• How (in)frequently have you surveyed your top customers to see how you’re doing in serving them?
What if your business is in EXTREME distress and requires turnaround expertise. Implement more serious control measures to fix your business.
So, if your processes need an overhaul where can you start? ASK YOUR EMPLOYEES!
After all, your employees are the ones that serve your clients, answer your phones, and rely on your systems. They should know exactly what needs to be done to improve your operations and achieve greater efficiencies in your processes.
Here’s to your success running your business in 2013.
Ethan Chazin, The Compassionate Coach