If you ask any of my former staff they can tell you that this was a regular catch cry of mine at our staff meetings.
Nowadays, as I undertake coaching, consulting and mentoring work with my business clients, I often find myself making the same request of them.
Time and again, business owners drive through the hard times, establishing the business, just getting through the survival period. They often put in a huge work commitment and are obsessed with details, particularly in the areas of customer service. Yet once they have survived that initial struggle and got into a routine, it can be very easy for them to stop doing the little things that made them successful in the first place.
Some of those simple things that I call ‘Going back to the basics’ include:
• Acknowledging and greeting customers cheerfully and efficiently. How often as a customer do you feel like you are interrupting the staff member from something that is more important than you, the customer.
• Answering the telephone with a smile. Try it – the positive vibe travels through the phone line!
• Responding swiftly to customer enquiries and / or complaints. Showing the customer that you value them.
• Thanking your customers for their custom. Without them, you don’t have a business.
• Thinking of ways to turn your satisfied customers into raving ambassadors for your business. Prospective new customers may be cynical about what you say about yourself, whereas they have no reason to disbelieve the genuine comments of other customers.
• Reviewing the products and services that you provide for your customers. Is your market changing and are you keeping pace with it?
• Keeping tabs on what your competitors are doing. Not worrying about them – that achieves nothing, but just keeping an eye on any innovations or changing customer expectations.
• Marketing – don’t stop doing it just because things seem to be taking care of themselves. Building a business involves building momentum.
So to conclude, watch that you haven’t stopped doing the things that got you to where you are, particularly if your business has grown and you have hired staff to replace your role in the organisation.
Another of my catch cries, ‘If you’re not moving forwards, you’re slipping backwards!’
Until next time, keep on moving!