|Excerpt from, |
Business Stripped Bare:
"Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur"
This is a insightful, clearly written article about delivering expectations - actually - about EXCEEDING Expectations. And the simple ways a business can do that. And, the key role the founder and later 'leader' must stay involved in the process, in touch with customers and employees, and always, always true to the core values of the BRAND.
What's most revealing is this final note:
"Staff desperate for someone to listen. Make sure flight staff reports are actioned IMMEDIATELY."
.....I'm pleased to say they now are.
This is the key to getting all the other items on the list done -- employees are better able to report problems and get them fixed before I come along with my notebook.
And as you decide how best to deliver your product or service, keep in mind the company's core business values, the medium-term strategic considerations and where the industry is headed in the long term.
Make your decisions on the micro level in light of that bigger picture, and should be headed in the right direction.
This problem-solving process should not be limited to the launch. Owners and leaders of established companies should sample their business's products as often as possible. Many bosses regularly speak to staff at all levels, but often they do not follow up on problems they uncover. This means their employees never learn what importance the CEO places on getting the details right, or see just how necessary and possible it is to address the everyday problems that come up. If you foster a culture of waiting for someone else to solve problems, the company will suffer the consequences.
Great delivery also depends on great communication, which should start at the top. Be brave: hand out your e-mail address and phone number. Your employees will know not to misuse it or badger you, and by doing so, you will be giving them a psychological boost -- they will know they can contact you anytime a problem comes up that requires your attention. (twitter is also a great way to 'hand out' empower your customers or potential customers with the ability to communicate directly with you.)
Instilling attention to detail throughout your new company will prove especially important when the business begins to gain ground. Employees across the business should be focusing on getting it right all day, every day.
I personally helped them, and in the process became concerned about the bigger picture for this company. I asked Ashley Stockwell, the brand and customer service guardian (note that he strongly correlates customer service 'guardian' (not representative) with the term brand - the customer service agents are the first contact experience for many companies with their customers. they are your brand - for good or bad or, indifferent.) for Virgin Group, to take a look. Thanks to our renewed focus on delivering great service and attention to detail, we got better and soon received plaudits.
Finally, if you do start to see success in the form of new and repeat business, remember to keep a cool head. You're delivering change, and if you are succeeding, other businesses are probably getting hurt. They will try to shut you down.
Be sportsmanlike, play to win, and then befriend your enemies. If you do fall out with a partner, colleague or competitor, call that person a year later and take him out to dinner. It is likely you have a great deal in common. After all, why did you both get into the business in the first place? To deliver change, serve customers, and reform an industry. Now, what can you create together?