An Effective Business Strategy – Stop Mucking Your Customers Around!
I recently met with a client who told me a story about having their car serviced. A few months prior, he had broken a very small clip on the fuel cap and decided that while it was a warranty repair, it was only a minor issue and would wait until the first service. During my meeting with them one morning, he missed a phone call from the dealership while the car was in for the service.
Here’s my take on the scenario and the effectiveness of improving a good business strategy:
At 10:10am, my client called back the servicing department who then asked whether he would like the clip ordered which needed to be replaced (recall was under warranty). However, the service technician noted, because they hadn’t ordered the clip before 10:00 a.m., they could not receive that clip before 5:00 p.m.; therefore, they couldn’t make the repair until the next day. This meant that my client would not receive their car back for another day!
“My client estimated that this was such a minor repair that it was something they could push in themselves if they had the clip”.
So my question is: Why hasn’t this organization empowered their employees to make a decision that is good for the customer and good for their business? This was a decision where it would probably cost the organization 30 cents for the clip. Let’s say it cost $50 at maximum. What are we doing in our organizations if we are not empowering our team members to be looking after our customers? The customer has now had a bad experience. The words from his mouth were “these service guys are mucking me around”.
Does that make him want to buy another car from this dealership? Think about this in your own business. What have you empowered your team to do for your customers to keep them happy? Overall, the customer wasn’t particularly perturbed by a small part that had broken because they knew they could get it replaced under warranty. But now this has become a bigger issue. Surely, your businesses should be empowering your team members to do the right thing.
How organisations respond to problems is WAY more important than the actual problem itself!!
THE RULES FOR MAKING CUSTOMERS HAPPY
In my mind, there should rules placed on employees to make customers happy. The rules should be:
- Is this the best decision to make for the customer?
- If it is the best decision for the customer, is it the best decision for your business?
- Perhaps having a budget set aside as to what your team member can make a decision for so that they (and you) have a safety net on their decision making.
There’s no point in providing a team member with a $10,000 budget if they make the wrong decisions. But certainly, they should be able to have a budget to fix issues where the cost is less than $50. Surely, they can make this decision themselves. Your customers will love you for how you fix problems rather than mucking them around.
Consider also the cost if the business owner needs to get involved in a decision worth $50 or less. You’re taking up precious time, which is a huge opportunity cost.
Reliable Business Strategy & Business Coaching Sessions
Through our Business Coaching sessions, we help clients build the rules of their organisation. Addressing customer concerns/problems is one of the most important rules you can set in your organisation. I implore you to give your employees the power to make customers happy. In the bigger scheme of things, this simple business strategy could save you headaches in the long run.