I have just returned from a regular meeting I attend with a group of young business men and women based in Melbourne called the 7ABN group. I have been a member of this group for a 15 months and we come together to network, pass on referrals & generally share war stories or bounce ideas.
This morning we had a guest speaker Julie Hyde from Distinctive Leadership. A very informative and direct presentation aimed to assist us with our businesses. She ran through common things that she experiences when dealing with small to medium sized business, specifically those that are service based.
She shared a number of very pertinent points of which most I could relate to (and could improve on), nothing particularly new, but always good to be reminded. Some of those being:
- Structure your day/week/month/quarter to allow time to work on the business not just in it.
- Focus on the top 5 things that will make the biggest improvement on your business now (this is not usually answering emails).
- Think & dream big
- TAKE ACTION – DO IT
A useful tool she described was to have an Business Mentor or an “Accountability Buddy” where you meet on a regular basis (every fortnight) have a defined agenda and discuss what you will both you both will need to achieve by the next meeting. Basically someone to keep you honest and someone that your pride prevents you from letting down.
But the most interesting point was that of Exceptional Customer Service. According to Julie, it is often espoused but rarely delivered and for the majority of the population, is it not really expected. If you or your business can deliver this consistently you will stand out from the crowd. Surely this is a simple formula to success?
To do this you need to know your service and be realistic about your capabilities (what you can and cannot deliver). You are better off delivering 100% of a reduced service than 50% of an unrealistic one. Too often we will agree to something because we want to please our client, when in reality there is no way we will, or could even if we wanted to because we don’t have the capability. She believed that you are better off having the ugly conversation with your client at the time rather than allowing time build up anger around broken promises. I know I am guilty of this.
I am generally interested in everybody’s thoughts. As a population are we so used to average service we just accept it as the norm? What are the little things that would make your experience better with a business or service? All comments invited!