Involve Your Customers
You want positive sales signs or signals
in your customer area. You want the customer to feel he’s
going to get fair treatment every time he comes in. As a manager,
you should be asking yourself how to serve your customer better
the next time he stops. That’s giving him recognition.
You are giving your customer a place in shaping your service
Put a customer satisfaction index in the
form of a postcard with every invoice. Design a method by
which you can objectively score the results. That’s
how you measure improvements-and don’t forget to distribute
the results to all your employees.
You see these postcards in some restaurants.
Most customers will not take time to fill out these satisfaction
indexes and send them back. In fact, the ones you do get back
will probably be the ones that complain. It’s not only
the answers you get back from these customers that matter,
but also your image of caring left with the 95% who didn’t
respond to your index query. You’ve given them a sense
of goodwill. You’ve said to them that you value their
opinion. Most of those who don’t respond will appreciate
that. They’ll reason that, if they had had a complaint,
you were willing to listen. Further, you should answer every
card that’s returned. That’s important.
If you do this, chances are good you’ll
be seen as a “pioneer” in your own industry because
few small businesses, other than restaurants, conduct this
kind of survey.
Perception is reality. Make your customers
aware that you are interested when they have a problem. Show
them they have a venue for voicing that concern. That’s
Business culture is something you develop.
It relates directly to how others perceive you. It takes very
little or no money at all to build a relationship with your
customers as well as your employees. You do that by opening
the door to them, seeing who they really are, listening to
their real needs and following up.
Your main objective is to create an atmosphere
of internal guarantees. How can you guarantee your customers
that you will deliver to them tomorrow if your production
staff does not guarantee the sales staff they will do whatever
it takes to pull the order together on time? That’s
an internal guarantee.
Your objective is to give all your employees
a sense of pride in their work. You are essentially asking
them to “take ownership” in their responsibilities
and in their department’s performance.
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Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA Small
Car World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with
140 employees, to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North Texas
Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002,
his book “Salvaging Millions” was published to
help small business owners achieve significant success, and
was recently reprinted. In June 2003, he joined the new ownership
and management team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real
estate holdings and investments. You can learn more about
him at WWW.autosalvageconsultant.com He can be reached at
5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, firstname.lastname@example.org
or 817-834-3625 ext 6#.