Pushing past the stigma of poor customer service while building a strong team
Through out the years, the concept of Black business and ownership has shifted. Despite the dynamics, the reputation of inconsistent customer service has always been debatable. Customer satisfaction is either regarded too highly to the point of impacting profits or, worst yet, based on the emotional temperance of the staff. For any small business, building a success company requires interpersonal training for staff to staff interactions and staff to consumer interactions.
What we all seem to know is, money can be spent anywhere with anyone. What we all forget to identify is, what sets my business apart from my competitors outside of the talent or products available?
Far too often business owners are slaves to their businesses, because they do not have reliable staff to complete tasks or sales. This leaves the owner to operate daily tasks, overhead tasks, strategic planning, and so many other things, while serving the customer directly. Take a moment to look around, where do they do that at? Why is this tolerated? And what can be done to shift the narrative and the profits.
First things first, work from the inside out. Just as much as you determined your target customer, determine your target employee. When speaking with a high level executive mentor of mine, she recommended that her team members have the following characteristics:
Know your ISH - Master your craft
Competitiveness - Eager to be their best, grow, and win
How do you compare to others and the market - Understand your role and how to pivot
Want to be in the market leadership - stragglers straggle
Tell me when I’m wrong - honesty and professionalism
Keep me honest - accountability, ethics,
Self motivation - Disciplined to work when its time to work
Interdependence - great without me, phenomenal with me
Regardless of the position to be filled, it is important to have a cultural fit to your company. Techniques and strategies can be taught, the aforementioned qualities need to be there at hiring. And this is one person's perference for her staff, decide for yourself what works for your business. Creating a list of helps to define the energy you want to manifest in your business in several ways. First, it forces you to be clear about what you want. Next, this list will help you be accountable to how you present yourself in your business. And lastly, you can focus and attract your staff when you know what your looking for. Establish boundaries around how you hire your staff.
Mentioned in episode 2 of the Energy is Currency, there are four types of sales people to surround yourself with. Identifying who you are helps you to find new opportunities to grow and connect with your staff and consumers. Many entrepreneurs wear multiple hats, many business owners are forced to wear too many hats. Figure out who you are and build your team accordingly. If you missed the show, the list is below
Hunter- champion at getting sales and customers, will do whatever it takes to make the kill. Rest assured you will experience buyers remorse, but the bills will be paid
Farmer- can take one idea or seed, and create an entire garden or more with it. Excellent at building and nurturing a business foundation. Probably won’t deviate in a rough patch.
Customer Service Rep- won’t hunt or kill, but will nurture the customer experience and relationship. Is an assistant to the hunter or the farmer.
Service Tech- will not hunt, grow, or nurture the customer. Is an excellent aid to the hunter or farmer in developing technique and strategy specific to the business. Understands the technical relationship of the business.
Next, develop a human resource department, either digitally or in person. This helps to address accountability, benefits, consequences and expectations with your staff. This is a mandatory step to any business. Its more than a casual conversation. Develop a training manual, that highlights the above mentioned information. Most importantly, include how the customer experience should take place. Include different scenarios, company recommended language, how to complete sales, how to operate equipment. Stop leaving this to chance and casual conversation. Regularly schedule mandatory time as a team to go over all of the information regularly and as a complete team.Hold team members accountable for their lack of development, with actionable consequences. Allow them to be creative and develop more engaging and efficient ways to interact with customers.
It is everyones responsibility to manage customer service, and it is leaderships responsibility to make sure this information is understood and implemented.
Building an accountable team requires thorough explanation and integration of company policy’s from the inside out and the top down.