I’ve had the privilege of visiting dozens of small businesses and interacting with hundreds. I’ve learned to pay close attention to what I see, wanting both to help out where I see opportunities, and to steal shamelessly what I can for my own business! Here are what I’ve seen as the top two characteristics among these companies. You’ll have revisit my blog for the rest of the top ten list later…
1. Urgency. Companies that succeed recognize that a customer looking for service has many options. If we should be so lucky as to get called on for that service, we must move mountains to get that customer taken care of immediately. This is the case for the companies pushing $20 and $30 million as it is for those with $1 or $2 million. Urgency communicates empathy, professionalism and a deep understanding of a customers potential apprehension in calling.
2. Training. If you are deliver this level of urgency to your customers, the next natural need is for diverse, consistent and frequent ongoing training. Through constant repetition of the goals and values, the vision of the company begins to set into the behaviours of the people. Through specific, reproducible systems those behaviours shape every customer’s experience from first contact through to final follow up.
Don’t be fooled, these two things don’t come easy and they don’t come cheap. A company that establishes urgency and training as a way of life has committed to an investment of resources. That investment shows up as extreme customer satisfaction and loyalty, but it requires time, energy and money to start the ball rolling and keep it going.