How often have you walked into a bricks and mortar business and been completely disappointed? The products were not displayed logically or conveniently. The physical building, parking lot, and retail space were not well-lit and were noticeably dirty. The staff didn't interact seamlessly - if at all - to help you. The entire experience made you want to leave as soon as possible - never to return.
On the flip side, how often have you been noticeably impressed with a business' product displays, physical cleanliness, and obvious customer and team focus? I'm hoping you've experienced more of the latter than the former. But more importantly, I'm hoping your business didn't pop into another reader's mind as s/he was visualizing examples of less-than-impressive businesses.
How people view your business is a reflection of your leadership
Whether we're talking bricks-and-mortar businesses, retail operations, service firms, or pure web-based businesses, your company's organization is a reflection of your leadership - or lack of it.
- When your team members lack basic customer service skills, it's a reflection of your leadership.
- When your team members are not prepared for client meetings, it's a reflection of your leadership.
- When your team members don't present a positive image of you or your business to your customers, it's a reflection of your leadership.
- When your physical business structure is disorganized and ill-kept, it's a reflection of your leadership.
- When your on-line presence is disorganized and not up-to-date, it's a reflection of your leadership.
- When your team members are frustrated, unmotivated, and underperforming, it's a reflection of your leadership.
- When your business has a limited repeat customer ratio, it's a reflection of your leadership.
Do your job and clean-up your business.
When your time is spent correcting mistakes and apologizing to customers, your success is limited. So, do what you need to do: clean-up your business by cleaning up your leadership.
- Identify opportunities to improve - Pick just one item that is causing customers frustration, and fix it. Once this one item starts to get traction with the team, identify another problem and fix it.
- Communicate the new expectations of your team AND yourself - Don't expect the team to change if you don't.
- Focus on your customer instead of doing tasks - Don't allow yourself to become so busy being busy you forget your customers. Monitor what your customers are experiencing. Are your team's interactions with them reflecting your business (and your leadership) positively or negatively? Are the customers' experiences easy or are they painful?
As the saying goes, "Disorder is disadvantage." If you want an advantage in business, organize your leadership.
Copyright MMXIV Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC.