There has been an accelerated increase in consumer expectations over the past few years. Yes, today’s economical climate has been a driving factor, but certainly not the only reason that our customers are now focused on perceived value. The waste-not want-not mentality, so very visible and practiced by the traditionalist generation that was discarded by following generations, seems now to be the new status quo. It’s been said that all things run in cycles.
This consumer shift or change of perspectives is very visible in most all businesses where the customer has the opportunity to say on the phone or face to face, “do you have?” Or, “how much?” The only thing that has remained constant and will remain constant is our “human capitol quotient”; we still are at the mercy of our people. As the old saying goes – “our business will only be as good as our people; if we don’t move our people forward we can’t move our business forward”. Amid all the restructuring and “corporate leaning” that has occurred the past couple of years, it is obvious that management’s focus has shifted from the motivation and reinforcing of core service beliefs to a compliance mentality focused on the multitude of reporting platforms that monitor every aspect of productivity. The customer can quickly become a statistic.
A simple truth is that the phone is ringing and there is still demand. Business owners and managers just can’t be lucky anymore. They actually have to be better than their competition and have a contemporary plan that touches everyone on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Face it, the world has become a yard sale.
My message is simple: Before you struggle to change technologies and processes to compete in these challenging, opportunistic, economic times, first take a long hard look at your human capital. Retooling your sales and service processes ensures your people a comprehensive selection of “how should I react in this situation” tools, so they can focus on the customer not on the product as our first priority. Secondly, combine this new culture with an ongoing reinforceable and coachable plan in place that continues to give your staff additional tools they will need to be successful from the “hello” at the start of a relationship, to the “thank you, is there anything else?” at the end. Without a doubt this is the most important business decision you can make, insuring a solid service platform that is focused on Loyalty.