And why they can make all of the difference.
(Part 3 of a 3 part series – Redesigning the Pathway through the Global Pandemic.)
History tells us the difference between winning and coming second is minimal.
The difference between hot water and steam is only 1 degree.
Yet the impact that flows from creating lots of 1% improvements is huge.
1. Know your key numbers that matter and narrow the focus on what’s critical for your success.
Don’t be all things to all people.
Focus on the classics (the key drivers) that contribute to your profitable growth:
a) Increasing the number of clients of the type you want ( it might be time to ditch those that don’t appreciate your products and/or service and that consume a huge amount of energy – they may be better served by someone else.)
b) Improving the number of products/services that your clients buy from you (start by asking great questions, listening carefully so that they enjoy even more value).
c) Get your clients to buy more frequently from you – your job is to give them lots of good reasons to do so (more on this below).
Get your board and team engaged on What you can do to achieve a 1% improvement in each of the key areas that are critical for your success and can allow you to differentiate.
This might include improved engagement from your marketing, customer conversion, revenue, gross margin, debtor days, WIP throughput, response times, google reviews, testimonials, cash collections, productivity… and more.
Then have some fun on working out How you will achieve the 1% improvement.
This is not overwhelming and together you will come up with loads of ideas.
Be creative, and be prepared to attack “sacred cows” and constructively question everything to assess it’s relevance to your key purpose and current objectives where you deliver loads of value.
Everything is possible, it’s just a matter of how.
2. Provide a brilliant customer experience every time.
Wear your client’s shoes and their glasses.
See everything about your business, product, service, brand, delivery, returns, packaging, communication and messaging, the options you provide… from their perspective.
The next step is to improve their experience and journey and integrate into your revised business model and plan so that the customer receives loads of value with all of the communication and connection points with your business and your people. This will require a revision of your critical systems and processes and further training of your team.
What do your customers (or clients) get, how can you make it fun to work with you, to buy from you? What can you do to have your team, clients and community feel more aligned and connected to you, to really believe in what you believe?
Are you living and breathing your core values?
Ask: How can we build more trust into, and with, everything we do?
How can you reduce the risk for your client?
What guarantees can you attach to your product, and build into your response, service and delivery?
How can you make the whole buying experience enjoyable and easy? What can we tweak?
What options can you offer so that a new customer can have an experience with your product or service – before they commit?
The best businesses and the best of the disruptors have considered all of this.
They have asked for feedback on what their team and clients want and value, and have built this into their business model, customer journey and experience.
The home straight…
It’s your responsibility to remain attractive and relevant.
Great ideas are important. Implementation is everything.
Remember to ask great What questions, and have an open mind as you engage with all of your stakeholders on How you can improve everything you do, so that you deliver a consistently brilliant customer experience and level consistent service that demonstrates you care about them?
Replace “So what” and give your team and customers more of “So that”.
Quite often customers will say “So what” when they hear or see your product/ service as you communicate why they should buy from you.
Your job is to turn “So what” into a “So that”.
Show the value they will receive and what they will get, profile what your product or services actually does and how it makes them feel better. Your customer needs to be able to feel the human element, a connection and believe that you care about the value and experience they get. And if something goes wrong, that you will fix it quickly.
Provide options, reduce risk, build in moments of connection as you build increasing levels of trust, so that your team and clients enjoy more from your business, product and service. Build-in opportunities for real-time feedback that encourages authenticity.
We are after success, not perfection.
The chances are that the first 2020/2021 Action plan you redesign will now be more focussed, where all parties will achieve more of their objectives with increased certainty, enjoy greater engagement, with less friction.
You will now have developed a more engaging culture where you can continue to measure, manage and refine the Action Plan each quarter and year, based on what you learn, adjusting as you learn what works, and what your customers appreciate.
Your offer and value proposition will now be more compelling, highlighting the things that you provide, that fix their problems, that create opportunities and deliver options for them, so that they can enjoy what they buy from you and that makes them feel good.
Your business will be far more profitable, valuable and enjoyable – providing more options for everyone. And that’s a guarantee.
Alec Blacklaw – Blacklaw Advisory – is a Business Transformation Specialist providing CEO Advisory support to privately held and family business owners who are looking to create a more profitable, valuable and enjoyable business.
If you have any feedback or wish to ask Alec a question, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or +61 408 351403.