Archive: AVN Insights

How to Prioritise Systemising your Business Part 2

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There are many different ways to prioritise the systemisation of your business, and today I’m going to talk about my second suggested way of tackling this enormous task. In a previous article, I talked about using a graph to work out which of the tasks you do could you write a system for quickly, that could save you time each and every week, and then starting with those ‘quick wins’

The second method I want to look at is starting with those systems in your business (whether done by you or not) that are ‘customer facing’ systems.

Michael Gerber, Author of the E-Myth – a fantastic book that describes the importance of Systems in a business, talks about 3 functions of a business – making it, selling it and managing the money. I believe that systems can be broken down into seven categories
• Operational – making the thing you sell or delivering the service
• Finance – dealing with the money side of the business, both sales and purchasing
• Marketing – which includes both marketing your business and selling, or ‘closing the sale’
• People – if you want to have a great business, it will require people that are committed to helping it succeed and so you need systems to keep them motivated and on board
• Customer – to ensure that your customers get a great consistent experience, and that you are capturing feedback from them to ensure they remain loyal customers
• Leadership – it is important to continue to work ‘ON’ the business, ensuring that the vision and focus are being adhered to, and so you need systems in place to monitor this and the other business goals
• Administration – the catch all – all businesses have some systems that need to be followed but don’t fit into one of the other categories.

The systems that you could perhaps start with are all of those systems that touch the customer in some way – from the way you post on social media, how you close a sale, how you deliver your product, how you ask for money, or how you deal with a customer complaint.

To do this, brainstorm with your team all of the times that you interact with your customers, from before a sale, right through the buying process, and after they have purchased. Work out where in each interaction you can potentially wow that customer, then work out what systems need to be put in place for this wow to happen every single time you have that interaction with any of your customers.

You then need to prioritise the points of contact and create an action plan, and then you and your team can write these systems, ensuring that every point of contact that your customers have with you creates an amazing experience for them.

The third method of prioritising which systems to write will be shared very soon. If you think this will be of use, then please subscribe to my blog.

 


Article Source: Jenny Lukas

How to Prioritise Systemising your Business Part 1

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There are many different ways to prioritise the systemisation of your business, and today I’m going to touch on one of these. In a previous article, I have already mentioned listing all of the tasks that you, as the business owner do, that could be passed onto another team member, with just a little bit of thought, putting in place a system, and then training another person to do that particular task.

But how do you decide where to start, and which task to start with? You can use the chart below, as guidance to help you work out where to start.

Take your list of tasks and plot them on the chart in the appropriate place, estimating how long each task will take you to write a system for and to train another person, and how long in turn that will save you each week.

Some example tasks are…
a) Cleaning the office (because this is a task that you haven’t ever gotten around to passing on to a team member, but now is the time to realise that you should only do what you can do and you should get others to do those other tasks). So currently this might take 2 hours a week, and if you were to outsource it, the task of outsourcing to a cleaning company might take a couple of hours to find someone, and interview them, and so this task would probably sit in box 1, quite near the centre line.

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b) Answering the telephone. The system for actually picking up the telephone is a fairly simple one, although there are some simple rules and a script that should be followed. The complex thing here is what to do with the call once you’ve established who is on the other end of the phone and what they want. You can write a checklist based on the most common phone calls you get, and then deal with the unusual ones as and when they come in and add to the system. To brainstorm the sort of calls you get and to write a system on how to deal with them could take maybe 2 or 3 days over a period of time (while making notes of all of the different types of call), but could also save a good chunk of time, maybe half a day a week? And so you might put this task in box 2.

Main_Design_ab

c) Opening, date stamping, and scanning the post. While you might think, “well it only takes me 10 – 15 minutes a day to do this as we don’t have much post”, that’s potentially an hour a week you could save, on a system that might take half an hour to write. So maybe put that in box 3.

Main_Design_abc

By doing this with all of your tasks you will be able to see those tasks that are in box 1, and it is these that you should work on first, as these take just a little time to put in place and will save lots of time over the coming weeks and months.

This will free up your time to work ‘ON’ the business, on the strategy and vision

There are 2 further methods of prioritising which systems to write that I want to share with you in the future. If you think this will be of use, then please subscribe to my blog.

 


Article Source: Jenny Lukas

When it comes to customer service only remarkable service will do…

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Why you need to deliver ‘Remarkable’ customer service and why does it matter?

  • It will help you in an ever increasingly competitive market, if you aren’t delivering a ‘Remarkable’ service then somebody else will
  • Give people something to talk about…Spread the word…’YOU ARE REMARKABLE’
  • Help you stand out among competitors and get it right, every time, with every customer
  • Likeminded customers will be drawn towards you and get people talking about the great things you do
  • Builds strong customer and team loyalty; a great place to work and great people to work alongside

You need to start going the extra mile: you can’t just decide you want to be ‘REMARKABLE’ you have to act like it too. Start doing and create an experience for your clients … every time

It’s a talking point: to be remarkable, you need to be remarked on, so think about how you’ll do this:

  • What are they going to talk about?
  • What are your USPs?
  • Do you go above what other business in your sector in your area?
  • Are you the go to person in your area/sector?

Be different, be BOLD, you may not have an endless marketing budget or time but you can play a different game

  • Be unconventional, be real, and be different – Why not?
  • Stay true to your promise and your passion, but don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and experiment with new ideas.
  • Above all, think of your customers, service with a smile is great, but you want to be remarkable, It has to be in in everything you and your team – do, say, think, and offer

 You first need to define what is your ‘Remarkable’ ?

Using this 5 step approach will give you a robust and structured process to start and continue to enhance your customer service each and every time:

  1. Team – Enthused, pulling the same direction, focused on the customers experience

An engaged Team pulling in the same direction is key, creating a great team ethos and culture can have an equal impact for you and your clients’ experience.

Benefits –

  • When a team member is motivated they do a better job, their workload will become easier, fun and become more enthusiastic
  • Build your businesses culture and live by your values, keep your team engaged and working together
  • Give your team a platform to gather ideas, nominate each other on a job well done
  • In order to motivate your team to succeed, you have to be a great leader and give everybody a sense of purpose
  • Understanding that you need to deliver a remarkable customer service experience every time!

 

  1. Systems – Don’t leave anything to chance, a step by step for every task

How can you ensure your remarkable service happens every time and not left to chance?

 This is where a systemised approach is key, Michael Gerber the author of The E-Myth books wrote that up to 80% of a business can be systemised. With the right systems in place alongside an engaged team every task can be carried out with the same level of expertise and the outcome be the same, no matter who is carrying out the task.

 Benefits –

  • Increasing standards, saves time and allows you all to work smarter – will give great customer service every time
  • Empowers your team, rather than having to ask you
  • Builds a culture – culture blame a system not a person
  • Each customer will get the same remarkable service every time!

 

  1. Wows – Exceeding your clients expectations every time

Wows in customer service and their experiences are about meaningful details, they are unique, and an expression of your company’s culture and shared values.

When a customer experiences a ‘wow’:-

  • You are exceeding their expectations in an unexpected way
  • It shows you are interest in building rapport and not just purchase a service or product
  • It is about making personal emotional connections with empathy

 Let’s look at ‘wows’ that our clients experience when attending a training event and why:-

  • All our car park space free and clearing marked with our company logo

Why: To help the clients clearly see the designated parking

  • Football table

Why: to interactive with the clients in a fun way

  • Charity donation to B1G1

Why: to help our clients see we care about others

  • Toiletries and toilet twinning

Why: To refreshes themselves and see the poster that (2.4 billion people don’t have somewhere safe, clean and hygienic to go to the loo. That’s more than a third of the people on the planet) shows we care about others around the world

  • Retro sweets

Why: Take the clients back to 1980’s and either eat themselves or take home for their children

With any wow its import to remember –

  • Your client relationship is paramount, clients will remember and perhaps more importantly talk about, the ‘little things’ that you do more than the products you deliver.
  • What was once remarkable becomes the standard very quickly, so it’s important to keep evolving and enhancing!
  • If you forget a wow you have done with a client in the past, your client may notice!

 

  1. Learning from others – Do not reinvent the wheel, what have been your experiences and read about what are other credible experts doing

We also experience good and bad customer service in our everyday life and taking the good and adapting it for your business is a great way of passing on what and how it made you feel.

Learning from others gives you a different perspective and it will gives you an insight to sectors and ideas for your business.

A great exercise is to brain storm with your team and all think of great customer service each of you have experienced and in true brain storming session pick the best idea which you and the team can implement.

There are many ‘customer service’ books which are recommend a couple:

  • Feargal Quinn – Crowning the customeris a hands-on guide written in a simple jargon-free style
  • Ken Blanchard – Raving fans that will help everyone, in every kind of organisation or business, deliver stunning customer service and achieve miraculous bottom-line results.

 

  1. Gathering feedback – Ask and reflect to know you are remarkable and ensure you get candid feedback

How do you know that your clients think you are remarkable? What are other saying about you?

  • The easiest way is to ask, many people don’t like to ask and if they do would you get an honest answer or would they just say the nice things!
  • Think about using an App or software – these can be automated throughout the year or after each job.
  • Don’t be put off sending a manual feedback questionnaire. You could sent in a bright coloured envelope, so it stands out and also printed on different colour paper e.g. yellow or green and you could also add a gift like a biscuit, tea bag. If sending through the post you must always enclose a SAE or a free post envelope.
  • Social proof and what others say about you and your services, so gathering Testimonials is a must these can be used whole to display in your office or on your website and social media.

 

With any feedback good or bad ensure you share with your team, if good to celebrate, since we all like recognition or if negative think about and implement, what system needs changing? Do the team need training?

Your Client happiness should be measured either after each meeting, project or periodically throughout the year. Research shows that only 4% of dissatisfied customers will ever complain. The other 96% will quietly go away and 91% of those will never come back. Furthermore, a dissatisfied customer will tell 8-10 people about it. Asking your clients for feedback gives you an opportunity to address any issues before they become a problem.

A few thoughts…

Deliver a remarkable customer service and your clients will become your advocates and tell others!

Be the business that people know because of what you do – not because of what you don’t!

Please let me know is this approach has enhanced your customer service

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog

Laura Newby

laura

 


Article Source: Laura Newby

An Inspirational Conference

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I had the pleasure of helping to organise the AVN Conference, which was held on the 6th October 2016 in Nottingham.  The theme of the conference was ‘taking action’ and we heard some really great inspirational speakers – Steve Pipe, Richard McCann and Shane Lukas.

I took 2 main pieces of learning from the day…

  • No matter what life throws at you, you can always bounce back and strive to achieve your dreams, and you shouldn’t let anything stand in your way.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your goals.
  • We are all procrastinators in some way – you have to find your own way to overcome this and to ensure you do the important things, and not just fight those fires that keep us all busy.

To see some great picture from the conference, and to find out about the 2017 conference go to https://www.avn.co.uk/conference.

 

 


Article Source: Jenny Lukas

 

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