My husband Mike and I had dinner out last night (was a great break after a long day.) The restaurant we chose is one that has great food, but….the service is sometimes a bit on the slow side. The last time we ate there the service was just downright lousy. I was served the wrong drink, we never got our salads, and I ordered butter on the side and it came plopped right on the potato.
But…last night was a completely different story. When we walked up, an employee opened the door. We were seated and immediately greeted by not 1 but 2 eager, happy, upbeat waiters. Our drinks came to our table in about 2 minutes, salads came in about 5 minutes then dinner (all served to perfection). We were in and out of there in about 45 minutes. As we left, another employee kindly opened the door for us, thanked us for coming, wished us a great night and asked us to come back again. Guess what? We will!
This restaurant has figured out something very important about what it’s going to take to survive during this down economy! Customer service has to be tip top. They are going to have to go over and beyond to make their customers happy (which does not include lousy service.) My hunch is that some customers complained about the service, and they answered a few questions and got their act together.
So, as you are considering your situation in 2009, before you start cutting out money, people, training, products and services, sit down and answer these 10 critical questions and THEN, make your decisions about what to do next.
1) What strategies have made your organization successful in the past that just aren’t working today?
2) What are the current and future opportunities for growth your organization? What territories/markets have you not tapped that are prime targets for your company given the state of the current economy?
3) What skills do you need in your organization to be successful in the future?
4) Who on your team has the skills you need in your organization to be successful in the future? (Hint: These are the people who can help get your team trained up!)
5)How have you been able to improve profitability in the past? Which of those strategies need to be ditched? Which ones are still relevant?
6)How have you been able to stay competitive to this point?
7) What steps do you need to take to stay competitive? (i.e. when was the last time you performed a competitive analysis?)
8. What funding is available, and how can you get it?
9)What low or no-cost services can you enhance or improve to add value to your customers and build customer loyalty?
10) What are the 10 ways you can increase both the efficiency and effectiveness in your organization?
Once you have answered these questions, it’s now time to sit down and formulate a plan. This action plan should include people, processes, funding, equipment and the training you need to move ahead sooner rather than later.
If you are someone who is looking for an opportunity to expand your business and grow your leadership in 2009, please contact me for a 15 minute complimentary consultation at (910) 692-6118.
And…if you have not yet read EDGE! A Leadership Story, I encourage you to do so..