“As a farm kid growing up in Saskatchewan, I was always aware of the importance of producing good crops. It was vital to everyone. It helped drive the economy and feed many families.” Mike Mack, X5 Management
You may be asking, what does farming in Saskatchewan have to do with business and this report?
I’ve learned from a young age that most farmers read and studied the regular edition of the Crop Report. It allowed them to see future trends in prices, global competition etc.
X5 Management works with different businesses in different industries and we have learned that 5 key drivers (performance indicators) impact and influence the success of any business, in any industry.
Like a farmer who reads the Crop report, X5 believes that success in business is about taking care of CROPS.
How we interact and serve our customers is everything in business. Do we deliver on what we say or commit to? Does every department in our business speak the same language? Whether you are in sales, service, or operations, we all have the same responsibility for delivering customer satisfaction. Perhaps you need to ask your customer?
Business risk may be difficult to avoid but there are many things that your business and team members can do to mitigate or reduce risk. Does one key person in your company do specific duties that no one else can do? What would happen if they were no longer in your business? We see so many successful business owners that have built incredible companies and surround themselves with great people. All is good, except that they have avoided the conversation about Succession Planning. What if they are suddenly ill, who runs the company now?
Who makes vital business decisions? We must plan for risk and manage it before it cripples or destroys our business.
Is your business operation focused and precise on delivering results? Can you sharpen your game to hit targets and objectives on a more consistent basis? Do all the moving parts of your business operate efficiently, effectively and productively? Do they work with, or against each other?
Operational efficiency is about consistent and systematic process, whether one employee or another does a particular task is it done the same way every time? That’s what your customers expect!!
Your employees are the backbone of your business. You can’t grow without them. Do we communicate with our employees and team members regularly and seek to understand why they work with our company? Do we offer growth and development opportunities?
Are they empowered to make decisions whether you are in the office or not? How can you ensure that they don’t jump ship and go to the competition?
Christmas is the season of giving. What is your sales team doing to improve customer relations over the holidays?What is possible for future sales or revenue growth in your business? What prevents you from consistent and significant growth? Do you have systems in place to ensure that your sales team is focused and consistent with their sales activities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? If your company had the potential to grow 10 times in the next five years, what would you need to do differently today?
Does this story sound like your company or perhaps like a company you may have done business with?
A sales team goes into a prospective customer and presents on how they can help their business with a particular challenge or business gap. The prospective customer loves what they see and believes that your company can help them. They accept the proposal and the business relationship now begins. A new team comes into play as they are in Operations and must implement what the prospective customer has agreed to pay for. This time the process and WOW factor is not so evident as when the sales team did the original sales pitch. Deadlines are missed and implementation dates or delivery commitments start to be missed. What is happening? Is this not the same great company that sold us on the promise land. The same company that was going to make your company’s worries go away? As the new customer, you raise your concerns. One department tells you that “this issue is not my department”. You go back to the original sales team who influenced you to sign on the dotted line. The sales team’s hands are tied, as the issue is operational in nature. No one takes accountability and many people may pass the buck. Whether you finally get what you actual want or not, you now have a tainted view of the company that influenced you to do business.
In a perfect world, all departments are transparent and empowered to take care of their new customer.
If this doesn’t happen the service provider is no longer referable. Do you agree?
Think about this referral script. “Hey John, I think you should do business with ABC Corp. as they rarely do what they say that they will do and no one seems on the same page. Their systems and processes have cracks in them and Customer Satisfaction is not their top priority.”
Joking aside, this story is more real than it should be. We have heard of 5 or more examples of almost an identical situation occurring in the last month alone. How does your company ensure that it doesn’t happen to your customers?