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Become the customer

How long has it been since you have looked at your business from the customers perspective?

Processes can become so ingrained that your team function without actually considering what’s best for the customer…… If you don’t continue to ask ‘Why are we doing this’ or ‘Can we do this better’, you can get left behind and you could also miss a major issue which might be turning customers away.

One of the simplest steps is to carry out a tour of your workplace.  If you can get an independent person involved that will also ensure you don’t miss things from ‘store/workplace blindness’.

Walk around your business and simply observe what is happening.  Look out for bottlenecks, process constraints and system failures.  Also look out for what the customer see’s – is your front reception/ store counter clean of clutter and delivering the brand messages you want people to see?  Watch some customer interactions if possible and determine if your team are well trained on delivering the best service possible.

Once you have an idea on your areas of improvement, have an informal chat with selected team members to identify their areas of concern, frustrations or ideas.  Many a great idea has been had by a more junior member of the team.

If the size of your business/team warrants it, the next step would be to create a more formal review process via the introduction of a Team Advisory Board.  This will allow you to get a handle on the things that make good people want to work with you and those things that the team find frustrating.  You should be able to gain real insights into how you could very quickly instigate new systems which would positively impact on productivity and profitability.

Based on your observations and the feedback from the Team Advisory Board, you can then draw up an implementation plan focussed on getting results.  The benefit to this process is that your team members suggestions and input have been valued and then acted upon which will encourage their continued involvement in both the business and these improvements.  It won’t all sit on your shoulders so you will see results faster and hopefully end up with a more positive workplace environment and improvements to the bottom line.

Download the Team Advisory Board Facilitator’s Outline.