This is the final article in a five-part series examining the excuses that often prevent business owners from growing their business.
So far in this series, we have covered four common excuses that hold business owners back from achieving the success they are capable of. You may have noticed that these excuses have become more convincing as we move through them… and the final excuse may be the most appealing of all. It is the idea that, because your customers love you and the service you provide, you have no choice but to continue to serve them personally. It is easy to see the appeal of this line of reasoning, because as business owners, we do take great pride in the level of service we offer. And you should take pride in your service, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all by yourself.
There are two mechanisms that will enable your business to provide stellar service to every customer, with or without your direct involvement. Those mechanisms are your company culture, and the systems you create.
A great example of a strong company culture is Apple. If you have been in an Apple store, you know what I mean. If not, I recommend you visit the location nearest you just for the experience. As soon as you walk in the door, you will feel the difference between Apple and other retailers. When you speak to a sales associate, you’ll discover that each of them is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. And you will find that they are legitimately interested in helping you find solutions… they are not simply trying to sell you the most expensive computer in the store.
However, even the most well-meaning employees are not going to provide the proper level of service without detailed instructions. That is where systems come in. It is important that each employee clearly understands his role, how he is to perform various tasks, and how he is to interact with employees and other team members. You need to create a set of systems for every employee, teaching them exactly how to provide the service that your business is known for.
If your business requires you, personally, to serve every customer, you are never going to grow. To expand your business or gain freedom from your business, you need to develop a team. And to ensure that your employees provide the same level of service that you provide, you need to create a service-oriented culture along with systems for every element of the business. You don’t have to serve every customer… you need to invest the time and effort to ensure that your employees provide the quality service your customers have come to expect. This will give you the ability to grow your business dramatically – without compromising on your client service.