02 Nov Are You Hijacking Your Team’s Success?
I was speaking to a business owner yesterday and he said that an employee was constantly messing up their production schedule by taking on rush orders. The company has strong sales, so they are working at full production capacity. The owner is proud of their high level of customer service but feels that by saying yes to rush jobs all the time, you run the risk of changing the customer behaviors and turning them into “last minute” laggards (customers know that their jobs will get done at the last minute, so they aren’t in a hurry to get their orders in early).
If this sounds familiar to you, here are some things to consider that might help:
1. What is leading this person to always agree to taking on rush jobs?
The business owner realized that he was always talking about sales targets. The employee may assume that it was important to not turn any sales away. As well, because they pride themselves on their customer service, these was a believe that it was important to always make the customer happy.
It’s also possible that an employee has trouble saying “No”. We see this in different areas of business – taking on all customer orders, taking on all tasks passed off to them. This will inevitably lead to low productivity or errors. If this is the case, having a buddy system in place so the kind-hearted employee can pass the customer call off to a colleague who is more comfortable being honest and working to slide the customer deadline a bit further out. Business success is a team effort, so find opportunities for employees to pull on their each other’s strengths when necessary.
2. Are your employees clear on the customer experience they should be delivering?
Without a clear customer service experience mapped out and communicated to your employees, they may not realize how their decision to help one client may impact the service to others. Guidelines, processes and checklists are great tools to keep employees reminded of the company protocol. It also gives the leadership team the opportunity to find ways to raise the bar and build a WOW experience.
3. Do you have a Plan B?
Owners are faced with all types of “fires” or circumstances that lead to chaos within their business. It’s hard to expect the unexpected, however, there are certain situations that can be planned for. The more prepared you are for unwanted circumstances, the better your staff can handle the situation without drawing you in. For example, if this business owner had an agreement with a trusted competitor to handle each other’s production overload emergencies, then the company wouldn’t be scrambling to get all the jobs done themselves. Remember, customers need to know their place. If they come to you at the last minute and expect you to help them out, you should still make your normal profit margin (or more) to do the work. This may entail a “last minute surcharge” to those last-minute laggards. Sometimes having to dig deeper into their pockets may remind the customer to be more pro-active.
How do you hijack your team from being successful? Share in the comments.
Business Rescue Coaching helps small business owner be in control of their business instead of being controlled. We build a strong foundation for growth to enable companies to work more efficiently and be more profitable.