Systemizing the ‘Warm and Fuzzies’
I’ve gotten some great blog material from Webinars I’ve done with business owners all over the country lately!
Last week, as a three-hour Webinar was in progress, I told “Walter”—a very attentive prospect—about the owner of a water restoration company who had incorporated his ongoing marketing ideas into his systems. I could tell Walter was getting excited as I showed him step-by-step examples of how the restoration owner had done that.
The more I showed Walter about systemizing every aspect of his company, the more excited he became. He finally blurted out, “You can even systemize the warm and fuzzies!” I LOVE IT when people GET IT!!
Later on, I’ll tell you how the owner of the water restoration company did it. It's simple enough, if you believe that control systems (like checklists) can make your ideas happen, whether they be marketing related or just a way to make sure there are paper towels in the restrooms.
You may be one of the skeptics that say, “I’ve put systems in place and I can’t get my people to follow them.” That is a problem, and I feel for you if you can’t give someone in your company a reasonable request, pay that person for doing it, and feel confident to insist that it be done!
What if an employee told you he/she wasn’t going do one of the main job duties of position for which the person was hired ? Would you really NOT insist?
When running an organized business, it is plain ole insubordination for someone NOT to follow the plan that’s been set by management in order to grow the business for everyone’s benefit. That’s especially true when the request is something that would create good will in the mind of your customer—that “warm and fuzzy” feeling about your company, as Walter would say.
So, how did the owner of the restoration company implement his marketing plan? He developed a seven-page checklist for his lead techs who go into the field to help customers restore their water-damaged homes and businesses.
• The detailed checklist has prompts (written reminders) that include even “small” things like laying down a mat with the company logo on it for people to wipe their feet to ensure everyone respects the customer’s home upon entering.
• Other prompts on the checklist remind techs to place plastic coverings on furniture and stairways while the work is in progress.
• There’s even a prompt to ask customers where they would like the company trucks to be parked, to avoid inconveniencing anyone.
The list of prompts covers all necessary aspects of the work to be done. As each one is completed and checked off, nothing is left to memory or chance.
Can you see how that owner was systematically creating the “warm and fuzzies” for his customers? Praise comes easy from satisfied customers; just as does condemnation from those who feel the work is sloppy.
This business owner was not going to leave his ideas—OR his customer’s satisfaction—to chance, so he incorporated great service right into his checklist and required his lead techs to follow them and check off the action items, prompt by prompt. In fact, this owner has even implemented systems for those who answer the phones, estimators, production managers—everyone in his company. Sounds simple? It is!
I LOVE IT when people GET IT!! That gives ME the warm and fuzzies!
Have I mentioned...Great systems work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.