As an executive who managed multiple properties simultaneously, I understand the importance of company policies. They are imperative in maintaining a standard from which to remain consistent in running any business.
After all, how can a fast food chain in Knoxville offer the exact same French fry as the one in Tokyo? That is made possible by policies and systems that enable business to multiply success while operating independently in different areas.
However as a customer, I don’t care about policies or procedures. The outcome is all that matters to the one paying to receive your goods or services. In other words, it’s the bottom line that your customers care about. What am I paying for? What am I’m getting? And the key question in today’s market; is it of good value to me?
Recently my husband and I ended a business relationship due to a long standing policy. No criticism intended; management has every right to determine how to run their business. However when a company’s way of doing business causes it to lose well established paying customers, it’s time to take a look at leadership. Especially in today’s economy, it should seek new ways to reach out and expand services to impact its loyal base.
If you haven’t made changes in your policies the past few years, that’s an indicator that you need to re-evaluate some of your long standing procedures. Examine customer satisfaction by surveying customers you lost. Was there a simple solution that could have been discovered? One way we can strive for a competitive edge is to recognize a need for change. If you work in a company where we’ve always done it that way is your motto, then you are likely missing simple opportunities to serve and keep loyal customers.
That customer base attrition doesn’t affect top leadership as immediately as it impacts sales trying to achieve quotas. Effective change happens from the top down, and without progressive leadership willing to bring fresh ideas to the table, you are likely going to suffer undue loss during a time where every customer should be valued and pursued. In the end that costs everyone and over time can destroy your business.
Customers have options. Very few businesses dominate with no competition. Thus you want to make sure you are doing all possible to keep the ones you’ve got. That might start with that old book we keep on our desks called the “Policies and Procedures.” It may be time to dust it off and give it new life! Today’s climate is an excellent opportunity to scrutinize what you do and why you do it, where you are always thinking of new ways be get better at everything you do.
It’s company policy! Next time you hear common phrase, take time to evaluate its affects and keep your customers happy!