Are You Easy To Do Business With?

Bubble CloudThis Voice of the Customer (VOC) question comes up often…

What does “Easy to do business with” really mean to your customer?

It’s all about the interaction from the customer’s point of view.  Answer these questions and you will better understand how easy you are to do business with and this should lead you to creating the right measures to monitor your ease in the future:

  • Do I (Customer) interact with you (Company) in my channel of choice or in your channel of choice?
  • How long does my interaction with you actually take–how much of my time are you taking up?
  • Do you get our interaction right the first time and if you do not, how do you handle it?
  • Do you know me and what I want when we interact, or do I have to keep repeating myself?
  • Do I initiate the interaction when I need to or do you initiate the interaction when you know I should?
  • Do you interact with me in the right amount, too little, or too much?
  • Is my interaction with you always consistent?
  • Do you force me to interact with you in ways that I do not want to?

Understanding the answers to these questions can provide significant insight into this question.

I would enjoy hearing other questions from the customer’s point of view that you feel are key.


Form Meets Function — Organize for Continuous Improvement

The efficiency of your organizational structure has a broad-reaching effect in your organization

We’re now several weeks into this discussion on building a continuous improvement culture.  However, at this point in your journey, it is important to ensure you are properly organized to effectively build what you desire.  Explore this and past blogs to identify if you are ready to take the next steps.

Moments of Truth in Business

All it really takes is once.

One time to screw up in business to lose a customer. But really, the first time interaction is the most critical.

Toastmasters International has a Club Success Series training presentation that talks about Moments of Truth for Toastmasters Clubs. Basically, the presentation highlights the opportunity for the club to shine and keep a member or fall on their face and lose that member.

The most crucial moment is the first time a guest visits a club. If they aren’t properly welcomed, if no one explains what is happening during the meeting, and/or if the meeting is run poorly, then there is a good chance that visitor will not be back and thus, not become a member.

There are other moments where you could lose a new member, but the most crucial is the first meeting…this is their first impression. If it’s bad here, one might assume that it’s all downhill from here.

I think in business we have the same type of Moments of Truth. The first time customer is always the most vulnerable to never come back. If they have been a customer for a while and you make some mistakes along the way, they are generally more forgiving–they have time vested in the relationship and don’t really want to throw it away.

So, what are the Moments of Truth for your company. What are the few things that you can focus on doing perfect all the time because these are the things that a new customer will see and, if done poorly, could turn them away.

You heard the three things a new visitor might notice. Not being welcomed, not understanding what is going on, and the meeting is run poorly. Let’s examine their three and see how they fix that and you consider what are your big rocks that you can work on.

The emphasis is that these are the things that every club must do well all the time and they have proven methods to make this happen in every club.

The Greeting. Every club is encouraged to have a person that is dedicated to greeting every single person as they arrive at the meeting. Toastmasters has this “thing” about shaking hands and it’s a rule that every member should shake every person’s hand when they arrive. Think about the impact that would have on a new visitor that every single person at the meeting made a point of coming up, shaking their hand, and welcoming them to the meeting. So, pretty simple–always have a greeter (it’s the Sergeant At Arms job) and everyone greets everyone at every meeting. Moment one solved.

Understanding. Now that you know someone is new to the meeting, because everyone greeted that person, you have the opportunity to sit that person next to someone who can explain what is going on during the meeting. Between knocking on the table when the word of the day is used to the general flow and purpose of meeting activities, a Toastmasters meeting can be rather confusing. Once you understand why the meeting runs the way it does, a visitor will feel more comfortable. Moment two solved.

The Meeting. Part of Toastmasters effectiveness is teaching people how to run effective meetings. Thus, every single meeting has an evaluator. This means that every meeting should be run well. They start and end on time, the agenda is set and followed, and the meeting runs smoothly. By following the standard club approach, fully training Toastmasters of the Day, and having good evaluations, every meeting should run well and everyone attending should enjoy them. Moment number three solved.

As you were reading these moments, can you think of similar situations where you have a new customer and that one thing or those few things could turn me off and they simply never come back. These are the things you need to do well every time.

Of course, there are other times in a new member’s experience that could sour them to a club…like their first speech, the first time they run a meeting, etc., but now that they are a member, they generally are more accepting.

So, in your business, you have that opportunity to make a first impression…one that is positive…if you focus on the few things that are your Moments of Truth and do them exceptionally well.

Who do you work for anyway?

Often times I have to stop and ask myself this question when working for others in some kind of change situation.

There they are, across from me, complaining about the “impact” of the change and how it will affect their people, the program, or even themselves.

All I can think about is, “Who do you work for anyway?”

Not once do they ask the question, or pose the argument, “How will this change impact the customer?”

If…really IF…they would think about the customer first, these questions would melt away. We–all of us to include me–exist in a business to serve a customer. Without a customer, there is no business!

For my Thoughtful Thursday, and relatively short blog, when you are thinking about how something is impacting you, your team, or your process, stop and ask yourself first, how will this impact the customer.

Maybe you will find that the first three questions no longer matter.

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