Systems – Where to Begin

When creating Systems for your business, most people are overwhelmed and have no idea where to begin… Operations first? Human resources? Finance? Marketing? Admin?

None of the above. They are all critically important, true. And, it is not where I would begin. Here is where you will get the biggest impact in creating systems that work in your business.

To really transform your business and make it really fly start with Customer Service Systems. Okay, how do I do that you may be thinking?

Start by mapping out on a flow chart every point of contact with your clients. For instance, the telephone, walk in, emails, letters. Every time a customer connects with your business write it on the flow chart, including using your bathrooms.

Most businesses have a huge amount of connection around the phone. Customers call you. And, if you are like most businesses – you don’t have any Performance Standards on how you answer the phone.

At our company we have a whole series of Performance Standards around how to answer a call, be with a client, and end the call.

I will give you two out of over eight detailed Performance Standards for answering the phone (and we are rigorous in enforcing adherence to them, by the way). Performance Standard Number 1 – answer the phone on the second ring. All the time. Performance Standard Number 8 – wait until the client hangs up first before you do.

There is a whole psychology behind just those two standards, and I won’t go into all the details in this Blog. I intended to show you that it takes a lot of thinking to define each single step in all your processes.

Now, let’s look at when you see your customers or clients at your place of business. I recommend you pick a ritual that you do for your customers that will show them how much you care. And, here’s the kicker, once you start you can never, ever stop. If you stop, they will think you stopped caring.

Here is a ritual we initiated and never deviated from at our accounting firm- we created leather bound menus, and in them you could order off our menus things like a cappuccino, latte, fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh muffins from the organic bakery up the road, other snacks and organic, high-end teas. Ah hem, this was Victoria, BC and if you know anything about Victoria you will know why organic and expensive teas were critically important. 🙂

Keep in mind this was an accounting firm, and ask yourself when was the last time you were offered a menu in an accounting firm? Exactly.

Clients loved it, and would often come to us and ask if they could work in our conference room and sip on a great latte, as they couldn’t get one that good  anywhere else.

This became something that was remarkable, as in repeatedly being remarked on by others including the local press.

We showed we cared.

And here’s the punchline, and why I highly recommend you systematize this part of your business first- when you show how much you care with a ritual like this around coffee, tea and snacks it does something to you. You cannot demonstrate care in one area of your business and then shut it off in another.

The impact is even greater on you and your Team than it is on your customers…

Stay tuned for more…



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