delighting customers

December 21, 2008

Delighting Customers With Employee Empowerment!

Customers like to have their problems fixed by the first person they approach. Having an employee call for the manager only causes irritation and frustration.

They can see it as a stalling technique and is more likely to require more costly remedies for the problem the customer has.

Managers facing such an intervention are more likely to have annoyed customers to face, which is not much fun for anyone.

Empowering your customer facing employees is a great step to delighting your customers.

Filed under Developing Your People, Managing Me by Martin

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November 24, 2008

Big Picture Management

There is no shortage of articles in the popular press about how to survive in the new era of a damaged financial world.

Jobs seem to be disintegrating by every newscast and matters are made much worse, I believe, by a scurrilous press having political reasons for making things seem much worse than they are.

The recession we are heading for, has as much to do with perception caused by a malicious press out there as anything else.

That said, what are you going to do to make the best out of a sorry state of affairs?

Practically, and having been through a number of recessions and crises over my career, it pays to remain flexible and prepared for when the downturn appears if and when it does.

Not every situation can be protected, but as managers we can plan to be as lean as possible with the permanency of employees, using short-term contracts where possible and thus protecting the key people who have been most loyal and especially the most productive.

Trying to second guess what is likely to come, is difficult in large organizations, as middle managers don’t always have the inside knowledge to know or influence what is going on.

It’s a time to focus on doing core activities really well, delighting the customers we have and, above all, not getting too despondent or down.

Keeping the spirits up and concentrating on delivering the best is likely to be the best we can do.

Oh, and if you live in the UK, don’t watch any more episodes of ‘Survivors’ or that could really get you down!

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Focus on Results, Managing Me by Martin

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November 20, 2008

“We provide food that customers love.” – Ray Croc

“We provide food that customers love, day after day after day. People just want more of it.”
Ray Kroc

Whatever you think about McDonalds, their business model is successful.

Even though their menus have had to keep up with modern times and become a little more ‘healthy’, they remain a firm favorite with families and young people especially.

Of course, their food probably won’t win any Michelin stars, nor is that what their customers want. It’s being inexpensive, consistently acceptable and quick, that their customers want.

They need to know that what they buy will be what they expect and without surprises.

Parents, for example, don’t want to take their kids somewhere that has strange foods (escargots maybeL), that maybe the kids won’t like, or at silly gastronomic prices.

Regular customers know that what they get will be what they expect, so surprise, risk and probably even fear are written out of the equation. No one wants to ‘fear the unknown’ when they step out for a quick, easy and inexpensive meal, however adventurous they are.

So, it’s about consistency, good value and speed. Customers want to know that when they go in there, any kids they have with them will eat the food and have a good time.

In a fun atmosphere with edible food, McDonalds have made a huge difference to hot food retailing over the last 20 years, with a model that has been replicated many times over. A franchiseable deal that is easy to reproduce, and to make their business thrive.

In ‘The E-Myth’, Michael Gerber analyzes the franchise model and recommends it as a way of doing business that anyone can look closely at, whether there is a desire to franchise it eventually or not.

There is something in ‘The E-Myth’ for everyone who runs a business. If you want it more managerially focused, check-out ‘The E-Myth for Managers’ (also by Michael Gerber), which focuses more closely on the challenges that managers experience in the modern era.

Filed under Great Quotations, Managing Me by Martin

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