Micromanage your customer’s experience
With Coach Jeff Earlywine
We often hear how bad micromanaging is. And when it comes to your employees I would agree. But have you ever thought about micromanaging your customer’s experience? From the first contact all the way through to the follow-up after the sale. Most companies, or should I say business owners, don’t do this. So just what is micromanaging the customer’s experience?
Let me describe this with an example of very successful law firm. This law firm was very customer / client focused. From their website, to how they answer the phone to how they treat you when you come in for your scheduled appointment. If you were a client of this firm here is what you would experience when you walk through the door.
Or is (and be honest here) your customer’s experience more like what I experienced at a hotel a while back. What you will read below is my email to Kristina, the hotel manager.
Good morning. I am taking a few minutes to send you a quick email. I visit your city on business about every 3 months. I usually stay at the same hotel but thought I would get a new perspective and stay at a different place - yours. My trip from Florida on Sunday was a tough and very long one. I arrived at the West Palm Beach airport around 3pm, and after two flights and several delays I arrived at your hotel around 2"am" Monday morning - yep a very long day (and night).
When I arrived the guys at the desk were nice as could be. I was worn out and they gave me my key and I headed to my room. When I came out of the elevator on the 2nd floor I was hit with a bad smell - something like sour water/carpet. When I opened my door I saw two small beds. Perhaps this was what I booked but was really disappointed because all I wanted to do was sleep in a big bed like mine at home. I called down and they said they could move me with no problem. So I grabbed my bags and headed back. When I got down there they said they couldn't move me because it would cost me more. They didn't give me the option of paying more and they knew how tired I was. They could have moved me at no charge and made me a fan.
So back to the room I went. I got up Monday morning (actually about 4 hours later) and headed to breakfast. I found the juice machine was broken and was told that it often is, the food was just okay but not even close to the other hotel that I usually stay at. And every time down that hall way I was hit with that smell. When I took my shower I found that the conditioner bottle was not a new one, it was 1/2 full used by another guest. Are you kidding me??? I left for my work - to be gone all day.
The bench out front of the hotel is a law suit waiting to happen - just FYI.
When I got back to the room and going into Tuesday (today) the people that cleaned the room didn't do that good of a job and didn't leave "any" shampoo or conditioner. I called the desk - had to call multiple times to get someone to answer - to get them to bring me some.
All in all, I am disappointed. I will be going back to my original hotel. I hope this email will help you in your work.
So my question to you is – what is your customer’s experience like? Do you micromanage every step of the way like the law firm or not even close like the hotel?
If you are a laid back, easy going and a very relational person you probably identify with this issue right off the bat. As hard as you may try, you really don’t like to confront, make waves or “get into people’s business.” With a very relational or “I don’t want to take a chance on hurting your feelings” personality you would rather look the other way when your staff are not doing what you have repeatedly asked them to do. So… what do you do about it? That is the question.
What you must first understand is this is how God made you. It is how you are wired, so to speak. And to be something totally different would be very difficult, if not impossible. Lets face it, you are just a nice guy or gal. But there are ways to confront and lead your team without you feeling like you are hurting people’s feelings or making waves.
Try this for a few days.
On a side note, this process will also reveal if an employee just does not care. If this is realized then perhaps you will need to put on the “I may have to let you go shoes” and have a tough conversation. Now before you freak out on me, below are four very simple statements and/or questions that will help you have this critical conversation. I suggest that you write these down on a 3×5 card and keep them close by most all the time. I say this because of my own experience. What I mean by that is while these helpful hints below will work, they only work if you remember to use them.
Say this to the person:
I'm sure you know by now that increasing your repeat customer base is the easiest way to increase your bottom line. Period.
Smart businesses that are able to leverage their existing efforts generate more income from less work. It's part of working on your business instead of in it.
You've already invested in the customers you have, so it just takes a few simple strategies (that you may be doing already!) to get those customers to come back and buy from you over and over again.
Now, don't get me wrong. This is an effective way to build a business. However, it can be costly and time consuming. It requires constant and consistent effort, which generates great results, but in order to keep generating results you have to keep putting in the effort. Plus, at the end of the day you're spending money every time a sale gets rung through the till or contract is signed.
A repeat business strategy means focusing inward - on the customers you have already converted. You've paid to acquire their business, so it's worth a little extra effort to maximize that investment and get that customer to come back and purchase again.
Start by creating a comprehensive training system for your new and existing employees.
If you don't have a training program in place, it's time to start one. Haphazardly training new employees usually results in each person starting with a different level of understanding of their role and knowledge of the company. This creates nothing but confusion and inefficiencies.
A strong training program will:
Your training program sets the tone for each person's employment with your business. It is their first impression of your company, the systems within it, the leaders who run it, the organization level, and the performance standards expected. If you give the impression that the company is sloppily run, then your new employee will think that sloppy work is accepted.
A clear system or 'curriculum' for new employee training not only results in stronger employees, but also makes your job easier. The subjects and skills that each employee is expected to learn are clearly outlined, and nearly anyone in your office can pick up the training manual and get started.
A strong training program will also help you keep employees, and reduce turnover. The cost of hiring and training staff members can be high, and you want to maximize that investment by keeping employees happy and learning throughout their employment.
Here is how to create a training system for new employees.
1. Design your training system by asking yourself (and answering!) the following questions:
What is the knowledge level of the new employee?
Decide what you are going to cover in the training program with awareness of the new employee's prior knowledge and skills. If you are not sure on some areas, ask them, or plan to "review" key skills and understanding.
Who will be doing the training?
Choose who will lead the new employee's training, and who are the people who will assist. These people need to be qualified and experienced enough to cover the each section of the training. For example, administrative staff should not be charged with training an employee on the sales floor; instead, a sales staff member should handle training for that specific period. Make it clear who is responsible for what information.
What materials do you need to train new employees properly?
Make a list of the materials you need to cover and give to the employee. If you have reference material, make sure it's handy. Anything that will contribute to the training process should be accessible: company manuals, industry reference materials, product knowledge binders, work samples, etc.
What tools do you need for the new employee?
Gather the tools your new employee will need to perform their role, and assemble it where the training will be held. Stock their workstation with the supplies they'll need to be successful, like software, technological equipment, and role-specific materials. A lot of training time can be wasted looking for key items.
How much time will training take?
Decide how much time it will take your new employee to learn and become comfortable with the new role. Include time for questions and feedback, and be generous with the time you allot to each task or section of training. Avoid rushing the training process, since it will cost you time and money later on.
How will you test or check to make sure the training is working?
Provide 'checkpoints' or tests within the training material to confirm that the employee understands and is comfortable with the topics covered. These don't have to be formal tests, but could be small, job-related tasks performed on their own using the skills taught in the training program.
How will you incorporate the company's big picture into the training program?
Explain to every new employee how their role fits into the overall structure of your business, and how their work impacts the performance of the business. Show them where they can go for information about the company, as well as other departments, if applicable.
What opportunities will the trainee have for feedback and clarification?
While it may be assumed that the trainee can ask questions at any time, be sure to build opportunities for clarification into the training process. Also, make it clear to the trainee that questions and feedback are welcome at any time, not just during the training process.
2. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings between staff and managers to evaluate performance and identify areas for development.
As part of their ongoing training, hold an individual meeting with each staff member at least twice a year to review their performance, gather feedback on the business, and identify opportunities for growth and development.
Conduct these meetings one-on-one, or two-on-one, with the staff member, yourself, and their immediate supervisor (if they have one). When held regularly, these meetings become an important opportunity for communication between staff and management, and encourage honest and open dialogue.
Create an agenda that everyone in the meeting can follow, and be sure to include the following items:
3. Create a human resources system to organize each of your employees training and professional development.
If you have several employees, it is wise to create a human resources system for organizing and managing information about each of your staff and their performance in your company. In a filing system, keep a folder for each one of your staff members, and use it to store information about their employment with your company in a centralized place.
Remember that these aren't designed to be "secret dossiers" full of incriminating information, it's a convenient way to record and monitor the performance and development of each of your team members.
In your employee's human resource folder, keep documents like:
Powerful offers that drive your audience to take action can be used in your business to do a myriad of things. They're great for moving old or overstocked product, overcoming buyer objections, eliminating purchase risk, or even just building your customer database.
Well-crafted offers are also fantastic lead generators - which is what we're going to focus on in this E-Class. In this case, the offer is designed to get potential customers to identify themselves, not to close sales. Once those potential customers have identified themselves - they've taken action to redeem the offer - they enter the formal sales process and you can convert them into a loyal customer.
Offers designed to be lead generators drive more qualified prospects to your business. They weed out the buyers who would take advantage of your offer, but who are not otherwise a part of your target market.
I'm going to show you how to speak to your target market's "hot buttons" and emotional motivators, instead of simply crafting an offer based on financial savings or bonuses. Let's get started!
Some of the people who will call you or visit your business will never buy from you no matter how good your sales scripts are or how much time you spend overcoming their objectives. There are a variety of reasons for this - and you'll never eliminate all of these people - but you will need to focus on bringing in more of the people who are ready to buy.
The good news is you have spent so much time and energy cultivating a comprehensive knowledge of your target market, that you're in a great position to increase the number of qualified leads you bring into your business.
How do You Get Qualified Leads?
Today I’d like to teach you about the three most important start up marketing tools you need to get and keep new customers.
SEARCH this amazing RESOURCE LIBRARY for articles, suggestions and direction on how to handle most every business situation that you find yourself in.