Delivering great sales results and offering excellent customer service is every businesses goal, but it isn’t always easy. Many businesses that I have worked with in the past 29 years have been exposed to business risk, as it relates to sales and service.
I have identified 5 ways to reduce the risk in your business.
1. Hire the right people: The old saying, hire slow and fire fast holds true. Too often businesses are forced to fill positions and put bums in seats, but they must hire the right people. Create criteria on what the right person looks like from a background and skills perspective. Slow it down and avoid rushing the hiring process.
2. Train the right people: Practice makes perfect, but perfect practice is more effective. Once you have hired the right people, are you providing the right training? Many organizations don’t have a structured training program and they hand a new employee the keys and expect them to start serving customers. This rarely works and creates unnecessary business risk.
3. Create a culture of service: Define what this must look like for your business. I love the question that comes from Dr. David Vik’s book, The Culture Secret. “When was the last time you experienced your company as a customer?” Did you like what you saw? How can you make it better, memorable, or remarkable?
4. Constant and never-ending improvement: What do you do really well? Can you make it better? What areas of your sales and service could be improved? Do you have a plan in place to tweak, test and measure the progress? If business is good, or even if it is great, don’t ever get complacent. Things can change on a dime. Maybe a new competitor enters your market or the economy tightens up and your customers demand more than before. Don’t assume they will keep doing business with you in the future, just because they did business with you in the past. Always strive to improve and be better!
5. Always have back-up support with customer relationships: Who does your best customer have a relationship with? Is it your business, or your best relationship manager or sales representative? In many cases, it is the relationship manager or sales representative, however most businesses would believe that the relationship is with their business. Having a back-up contact that can also build rapport and relationship with your valued customers is critical to reduce sales and service risk in your business.
Taking the time to reduce risk in your business as if relates to sales and service will keep you ahead of the curve and the competition.