Do Your Staff Cause Problems Because You Have A Lack Of Consistency And Culture Of Customer Focus?

February 21, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Your customers are the major asset in your business. They are the people who pay all your wages and expenses and your staff all need to recognise this.

Plus when you consider all your marketing, advertising, time spent networking and selling, your customers cost you money to acquire.

We all hear comments like “how lovely work is when there are no customers”. What are they thinking! Or are they thinking at all?

Let’s look at some of the scenarios that can cause customers to look elsewhere for another provider.

• The messages that do not get passed on.

• The failure to provide quotes and to follow them up.

• There are many service companies where appointments are made and ignored. I can’t even think about the number of trades people who promise to come to put in some more power points or fix that leaking tap then never turn up. Hopefully they don’t want that job, because they are unlikely to get it.

• Cleaning companies sometimes have an issue with cleaners who fail to turn up for an out of hours cleaning service leaving the clients to arrive to find an uncleaned office, full bins etc. The simple procedure if a cleaner is ill and unable to attend is to phone or text their supervisor as soon as they know so that alternative arrangements can be made or at the very least, the clients called first thing next time to apologise and make alternative arrangements.

• Stop for a minute and think about your business, then work out where similar things can happen to upset your precious customers.

Contracts are another danger area that can cost you a lot of money. Think about the contract that was verbally changed with no paperwork going to accounts or with the changes being recorded. This requires a consistent approach to all your paperwork.

We had a situation like this in the computer store that my family used to own some years ago. A family came in to buy a computer and there was clearly a difference between the husband and the wife about the amount to be spent. The contract was signed, deposit paid and the job started.

Then two days later they phoned to change the order and reduce the memory and hard drive size to lower the price.

We put the build on hold until they came in a signed a variation form. After the sale they went off happily until two years later…

We had a legal summons charging us with fraud because we had sold a computer with less memory and a smaller hard drive than they had paid for. When we looked up the paperwork, there was the variation form – thankfully. The client had a red face and was deeply apologetic. The only paper he had kept was the original quote.

This could have been a very real danger involving a lot of expense plus damage to our reputation.

This is what Quality systems like ISO 9001 are about. They are aimed a providing consistency and customer satisfaction, which in turn attracts and retains your customers

The thing is that all business interruptions cost you money because they consume time that could be used more profitably. Having a good staff culture where all your people are working from the same page and are all clear on your business objectives more than makes up for the time spent developing your staff training and procedures in both the short and long term.

Jean Cannon helps small to medium business owners and managers who want to increase their business productivity, gain more market access and grow their business by gaining greater credibility with markets and regulators plus having access to tenders. The international ISO certification does this for them. Jean’s big difference is that she keeps management systems low paper and simple. With over 20 years experience of using quality systems plus being a qualified auditor she demystifies the certification process to help you tailor your system to truly work in your business. Jean’s own business, Jean Cannon Consulting is certified to these same systems and has been for many years. In other words, she knows HOW to keep it simple. Jean has an outstanding ability to communicate well with all levels in a business and has developed a step by step training system to teach clients to understand their system so that they are able to make changes over time as the business changes without needing to call back “the consultant”. Jean Cannon offers the choice of online, Do-it-Yourself or face to face training.

Discover how to avoid the five biggest dangers facing small to medium businesses in 2012 at

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