What’s Finally Going to Fix Things at Your Company?
Well, let’s start with what won’t fix things at your company.
Putting out a daily fire without focusing on fire prevention is just wrong. Because that fire is bound to break out again tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow until the day you finally lock the front door of your company and say “Goodbye!”
What is going to fix things?
Becoming proactive about running your company instead of letting the company run you. That starts with putting the right tools in place to make running your company day-to-day way saner and way more sustainable.
The biggest and best tool is to document what it takes to run your company, without you having to ride your white stallion to the rescue from sun up to sundown.
That’s why I’m advocating you dedicate a portion of your week—no matter how crazy that week is—to creating a series of documents designed to keep fires from starting in the first place.
Any of these fires sound familiar?
- Your Receptionist/Customer Service Reps (aka CSRs) don’t capture the right information from the caller.
- Then, they don’t enter the call correctly.
- They don’t explain in a friendly way, like a happy hostess in a restaurant, how you do business, and they don’t build the sales momentum.
It gets even worse if they’re quoting prices over the phone! They don’t see the job, so they cannot possibly know what’s involved. These are just a few of the ways CSRs who “just wing it” blow up call conversions and the way calls get run.
- At many shops, the CSR is then required to get the necessary information to the Designers. The problem is that once they hang up the phone, they have to switch gears and build on the momentum that a CSR creates when they do their job correctly. And that is to prioritize the designers schedule to make sure the following three things happen by 2:00 p.m. each day:
- Which customers are going to love us?
- Which customers are going to like us?
- Which customers are not going to like us so much and what can they do about that right now?
The CSR role can also set fires if they don’t get all the necessary information required to run the call the right way to the Designers.
Designers then need to run those calls in a way that maximizes sales, which is the result of good communication between the CSR and Designer).
Then they need to run those calls well both operationally, meaning at least not leaving a mess for the customer to cleanup, and technically, meaning fixing the reason they called in a consistent way that minimizes callbacks.
Finally, the Designer needs to get all the right information captured and back to the Production Manager to execute the many things needed to build a successful project to properly close the loop on what I call the Triangle of Communication between CSR-Designer-Tech. This loop then starts again if you’re an install company as well, making it all that more important to have a proper process!
So, what are some of the things you get for creating these guiding documents a.k.a., Operating Manuals?
- A way to finally fix the holes in your staff’s knowledge at all the key positions.
- A way to find and fix the holes in the newly hired staff’s knowledge. You know, the people in the interview said they could do everything. That is, until you hired them and found out the truth!
- A way to hire willing people and provide them the skills they need to be successful instead of always trying to rewire skilled people with behavioral issues.
Here are three more things I got at my company (as have my contracting clients) by creating Operating Manuals:
- I was able to reduce callbacks that were robbing us of profits, angering our
customers, and keeping us from more sales.
- I was able to go on vacation, because my company staff was finally
trained, empowered, and capable of handling the day-to-day work required.
- I was able to create new Techs instead of just hiring tired retreads from the
industry who would tell me what they would and wouldn’t do. All of this led to doing more work for more money.
So quit procrastinating! Make time to work on your operating manuals and get your life back!