Posted Thursday, February 10, 2005
It might sound quick and simple, to say how well your business does in satisfying it's customers. Hearing such as:-
"We're increasing our turnover by 14% year to date"
"Our customer complaints are now less than 4% or our transactions"
...might sound like music to your ears, but that's just the time you need to be very careful.
A regular measurement of where you are as your organisation, not depending on some of the easy-to-fake figures, might just make the difference in how well you are doing now, and into the future.
Try these quality statements and set up a mechanism whereby you review them monthly - yes, that's right, monthly. This needs to be thorough and objective. And maybe even the scores made by a cross- section of your people in all areas of your business - then you get objectivity and a true picture of how you are scoring. It is a great activity to score each of these out of 10, make a tracker month by month and each time you review, ask yourself the question:-
"What would we need to do to move our score up by 3 points"
Do it point by point and then, after you have that 3-point question, work out a monthly action plan, so that step-by-step, you gradually improve. (Note:- If you are too near a score out of 10 to have three points to go - upgrade your statement!).
Then and only then will your improvement be sustainable and you can reset the questions over time to a higher standard. Then you truly will be The Best in class!
The Quality Statements:-
1. We use a variety of staff to monitor customer service on a regular and consistent basis
2. We know and can clearly state our customer groups
3. We listen to customers about our products and proactively seek to redress issues
4. We notice and congratulate our people and teams when they perform well
5. Senior management are fully and visibly engaged in customer activities
6. Our people enjoy the challenge of changes
7. Our organisation and our people have aligned values
8. Our customers find working with us easy and pleasurable
9. We know how our people feel about working here and always respond to make it better
10. We have teams and individuals who can respond quickly to changes circumstances, whatever they are
Keep a track of these - visually represent it somewhere very publicly for your people. Involve many of your them in monitoring, finding solutions and taking accountability for change, where needed and your business, your people and you will thrive.
One final point. Starting is good, being able to demonstrate your success in 12 months is another thing - as is still doing this review at that time.
About the Author
Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, (http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com). (Note to editors. Feel free to use this article, wherever you think it might be of value - it would be good if you could include a live link)