Everything we do we believe will bring another dimension to the life and success of your company, the people that work there and the outcomes you achieve !

Tips And Thoughts

Do You need a Staff Manual for Sales and Customer Service?

The answer to that question depends on where you want to position your company amongst your competitors.   Big statement -  yes and from a staff manual you can get excellent  results especially if you are in small business and you want to give unsurpassed customer service and quality products.   

Today I want to discuss the Sales and Customer Service inclusion in your staff manual.    What do you need to include and how is it going to help your business.   We have all heard about the word “Branding” and how it applies to your person, your business and your overall expectations of sales and service. 

So how do we go about getting the Branding consistency across all of your staff?  The answer is you need to add a Sales and Customer Service section in your staff manual or handbook.   Now I don’t mean to over simplify the issue however you don’t want to place yourself in a position where it is too late to find out that a staff member   “didn’t know what they didn’t know” and let’s be honest we have all had this experience at some stage of our business career.  

Key elements in your Sales and Customer service sections to cover are as follows: 

Document: Define what your expectations are for a good sales and customer service experience.   Here you can get consistency across all customer contact points and set up standards for phone interactions, internet interactions, emails, correspondence and face to face meetings.

Training: Train all staff in the guidelines and procedures to facilitate the exact replication of interaction from staff member to staff member.  Consistency is a valued tool in any business. 

Customer Feedback: The ultimate litmus test of how you’re training in Sales and Customer Service is servicing your customer.   Achieve this through a simple online form or personal phone interaction.  Ask if there is anything that could be done better and take the comments under consideration.   The customer will soon tell you if they had a good experience or not and if they didn’t, immediately take action and correct any issues.   If there is a problem with your product or the sales delivery then then you have failed your customer and before it can escalate out of control move everything and turn that negative into a positive experience.    

Remember as a small business you cannot always compete with the big guys so I want you to contemplate the following:–

Bigger is not always Better

however

Better can make you Bigger! 

Katrina Bourke for Empowerment Coaching Pty Ltd

Mission Statement:- Empowerment Coaching for individuals, teams and businesses towards maximising performance, profitability and sustainability to achieve desired outcomes.

Are you Respected at Work?

Where does your business stand on respecting and supporting your employees in the pursuit of their career and your profit?

Crane Worldwide Logistics discussing their people policy following their Employer of the Year win at the 2014 Global Freight Awards. 

“What is important is that our employees remain motivated and proud to belong to Crane Worldwide Logistics, that sense of belonging comes from within and a respect for each individual and the challenges they are facing on a day to day basis at home and at work. Of particular success has been our Well-being Initiative.”

In the business world our people are our assets, we need engaged assets.  Everyone wants to be acknowledged and valued for their contribution to a business, everyone wants to go to work excited to be contributing to the success of company, success of a vision, or the success of a mission.

What to do next ! 

Not everyone knows how to convey this message to employees.  This is where coaching becomes an integral part of staff development - not only to focus on the business goals but to give you insight on how to engage your  staff.  At Empowerment Coaching everything we do we believe will bring another dimension to the life and success of your company, the people that work there and the outcomes you achieve.

Engaged workers are more likely to want to work with other engaged workers, are higher achievers, higher performers and are the wild cards for successful high performing businesses. 

In the end it all comes down to the quality of Engagement of your people which results in the Performance of your organisation.  The Performance of your organisation is what differentiates you from the competition and upholds customer satisfaction and retention.

Overwhelmed!

Do you face your day at work with a feeling of overwhelm?

I personally have experienced in business the situation where everything is moving so fast - communication, technology, deadlines, meetings, personal life, family life, even time.

Have you thought to yourself where am I going to find the time, I am sure most of you have experienced these same frustrating feelings at some stage in your career.

Do you sit at your desk with your head in your hands and wonder which issue to tackle next and not only what to tackle but where can you find the time to address each issue effectively?  If only you could stop all the swirling and juggling and concentrate on finding the time to efficiently and effectively deal with issues crossing your desk.  

Let me let you in on a little secret it’s the 80/20 rule! 

It’s something not new you may have heard about  the  Pareto's Principle it is a statistic that when related to sales 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients,  well I am about to tell you that you can achieve 80% of productivity from addressing  20% of your tasks -  but only if you focus. 

Every morning get out a piece of paper, or iPad whatever you are comfortable with write down everything you want to accomplish that day. For example if you have emails to write, sales issues to attend to, financials to review, phone calls to return, staff to address, personal appointments or family time,  first thing is to group like with like.  Then be ruthless with the list.  Decide the hours you have available in the day and accept that it is not possible to complete all on the list in the required time but review and draw a line through everything that is not going to get you an 80% return on investment. Investment being your time and attention.   

Sounds simple?  Yes it is and it works!  This process is just a tool to help you focus on the most important issues you have to hand.

How can you get assistance and change your work process.

I have worked with senior executives who once shown how this principle works and followed the process are astounded at how it has changed their work and stress levels. At Empowerment Coaching we believe everything will bring another dimension to the life and success of your company, the people that work there and the outcomes you achieve.

The way we do that is to give you an alternative perspective or different view of your company.  We believe most businesses are 99% there and with someone to focus attention on the missing link or part that you are yet to achieve - you can exceed expectations.

Your business can achieve incredible results! Do you want to find the missing 1%? ….. We all need another perspective.

Let us look at your challenges you are wanting to solve and we can see if we are the right solution for you to give you the power to achieve!

That's not my Job!

A phrase we have all heard but do you know what to do next?

Every member of a team has to have ownership of their part or contribution to the team.   Team members are to be held accountable for the performance and completion of their segment and responsibility for productivity within the outlined goals of the team or organization.

Herein the distinction is made that when you have team members or employees the description of their position and expected outcomes should be adequately conveyed to the individuals so that the process requirements and/or responsibilities are clearly defined.

Do you convey your requirements to your employees and then hold them accountable? 

Accountability can be very easily addressed through KPI (Key Performance Indicators), Job Descriptions, Policies and Procedures and Structured team Goals.  However over time and I have found from experience with some of my clients, especially if there has been a merger the individuals grow within their job descriptions and you can have an emerging job creep.

In the situation of a merger where the weaker partner either through technological or systems  infancy or even a lack thereof some employees do not feel accountable or empowered to perform at their best.

So what to do?

Empowerment is the key and communication is the only answer as a leader you have been given the job to lead.  The leader has been charged with getting the expected outcomes and ensuring the goals are met.

All expected outcomes  need to be addressed and all positions, descriptions of positions and the  actual day to day fluidity of your employees needs to be a conversation you have not only as a  group but also on an individual level. 

Ownership and accountability will engage your workers.  Engaged workers are the high performers, high achievers and the basis of successful teams, working environments and businesses.

So you want to grow your business!

For those who nodded in agreement continue reading – everyone else stop reading and look away now. 

Growing your business can benefit you in many ways. Whether you value add to your business, increase sales, streamline your expenses, expand your product line, increase your customer base, reduce staff conflict, or inspire the team we all want to work in a financially sound, happy, engaged, motivated space.

Mostly we are aware of the options but did you know it usually only takes one change in your company to accelerate the outcome.  Similar to dropping a stone into a pond, the ripple effect is amazing.  

Which option to choose!

Have you considered talking to someone who has been there walked the walk and talked the talk?  I know some of the best decisions I made in business was when I had a confidante to whom I could turn to discuss my issues and concerns.  I understand and know from personal experience it’s great to have these discussions as we all know it can get very lonely at the top.

Do you have Clarity of Vision?

What is Vision?

Vision is only a goal with added action.

Vision is when you are at stage A and you want to go to stage B – it is great that you have a vision of how you want to achieve the outcome but it must be crystal clear in your mind before you take that vision and share with anyone else. 

Do you have Clarity of vision?                            

You have not only to be able to see it in your mind, you must be able to hear what it sounds like, feel how it feels, and know what it is to be at stage B.

People store time in many ways either with the past behind them, in front or around them but however you store time you need to project to stage B and mentally track back along on your timeline and track past the steps you would have taken to get to your goal to acknowledge and affirm the process.

If you are not at the point where you can do this how you can possibly express your vision or your desired outcome to others and have them understand and follow you on your journey of change.  Rule number one know where you want to go and then communicate clearly and effectively.

Still looking for the 1%

Everything we do we believe will bring another dimension to the life and success of your company, the people that work there and the outcomes you achieve.

The way we do that is to give you an alternative perspective or different view of your company.  At Empowerment Coaching we believe most businesses are 99% there and with someone to focus attention on the missing link or part that you are yet to achieve  - you can exceed expectations.

Your business can achieve incredible results!   Do you want to find the missing 1% ?

Check out this page for ideas, thoughts, conversations and musings …..   we all need another angle !

Empowerment Coaching will work with you to give you  the power to achieve!

The Brick Wall

Do you know the good thing about banging your head against a brick wall ? 

It’s when you stop !

What won’t happen if you don’t call me ?

Katrina Bourke Empowerment Coaching 0413338013

When Does Feedback become Failure?

My definition of Feedback is the return of information on an emotional, physical or intellectual process that identifies or ratifies the necessity for change to effect a different outcome. 

Failure is when you are consistently consistent and expect change whilst ignoring Feedback.


Engaged Staff = Happy Clients

In the business world our people are our assets, we need engaged assets.  Everyone wants to be acknowledged and valued for their contribution to a business, assuming the remuneration was commensurate we would have engaged workers.

Engaged workers are great!

Engaged workers are more likely to want to work with other engaged workers, are higher achievers, higher performers and are the wild cards for successful high performing businesses.  In the end it all comes down to the quality of Engagement of your people which results in the Performance of your organisation.  The Performance of your organisation is what differentiates you from the competition and upholds customer satisfaction and retention.

But it can go bad

But what happens if you have a toxic work environment.

  How do you manage an employee or employees who is/are difficult to work with?  Or negative to other members of the staff?  What if that employee just doesn’t even turn up to work?  Taking a lot of sick leave is most often a sign that an employee is seeking employment elsewhere, it is also a sign of a lack of ownership.

Business is like a bus

I am going to borrow the following analogy - Business is like a Bus and on that bus you have a driver who has a destination or vision in mind and a path that will drive the bus to reach that goal or destination. Remember a goal is just a vision with the addition of action.

Firstly you must ask yourself the following questions; Do you have the right people on the bus?  In the right seats?  and the wrong people off the bus?  

Once you have the right people in the right seats, sharing in the excitement of reaching the destination the momentum is infectious and you will find everyone on the bus is aligned and passionate about completing the journey.   I hear you ask what if they aren’t?  well you really don’t need to throw them under the bus … very quickly they will decide that they don’t want to head in your direction and just jump off at the first available stop.  

This is why businesses need to regularly assess the strategies used to underpin their functioning work environment. This doesn’t necessarily mean big changes in policies and procedures and in many cases if you look at the current work methods, usually it is just a matter of adjusting one or two areas or mindsets in the workplace to turnaround staff engagement.

Coaching brings the best out of people, directs attention and brings focus to all members of a business so that the growth and the development of all have a synergy with the values and goals of the organisation. Take action now!

Empowerment Coaching for individuals, teams and businesses towards maximising performance, profitability and sustainability to achieve desired outcomes.

Mobile conversation I overheard (everyone heard) at the Car Service Workshop last Monday!

How to deliver BAD customer service.

Man on Phone (mop): Hello well yes I have a little disappointing news for you John… last Friday my warehouse sold four of the nine rolls of product that we had in stock.   Consequently we can no longer fulfil the complete order for you.

Seconds pass as customer responds on phone

(mop): I know and I completely understand and I apologise but unfortunately we can only supply five rolls, however you could source them from (name withheld) that is where we get all our stock from.

Seconds pass as customer responds on phone

(mop): ok John I will despatch the five rolls we have in stock and apologise again for the inconvenience.

***

My advice to improve customer service. 

I am sure you can all appreciate the errors in not only handling the sale but also the lack of service extended to what I can only assume from the conversation is an existing customer.

Be very cautious referring your customer to another to source for supplies and be doubly so when it is your own supplier.  Why? Well the first thing that your loyal customer will notice is the difference in price. I am assuming you are adding a percentage for handling on top of your wholesale price so not only now has he discovered your supplier at possibly a cheaper price but also quite possibly your supplier is holding quantities  of product  for which you may lack the capacity.

Another point to note not only has your customer called you and your company as the goto supplier now you have rewarded his loyalty and custom by asking him to take the further step and source the additional supplies elsewhere. 

Where is the service?  In this market of electronically driven resourcefulness, sometimes old fashioned service is just the thing to facilitate customer / client assimilation and retention.

If I was coaching this representative I would suggest to apologise, and yes source the product elsewhere but do this for your client.  Order from your supplier have it delivered to your client direct. Take the initiate to service your customer so that it will be a positive emotive experience they will remember and attach to the loyalty tag they have for your company.  

Coaching starts with assessing the goals of a company. Organisational figureheads have to create value, motivate and inspire followers to set direction and create an emotional attachment to a product or a company.     It is not only necessary that company leaders mobilize resources and accomplish goals, the same leaders of companies must have strategies and guidelines to that they can successfully lead to achieve the vision and goals.   

Empowerment Coaching Pty Ltd   reviews existing policies and procedures and enhances if and where necessary.    Policies and Procedures give the company the scaffolding from which to establish company culture and guidelines.   Leaders use Company culture and guidelines to set direction for achieving goals. Furthermore if you are the (mop) in the story contact me I work with individuals and companies coaching in Sales and Support - I believe I can help !

Change

So how many saw the title of this article, cringed and immediately had cold shivers run down their spine.   Yes, it is not too unfamiliar a reaction when that word or that idea is thrown around.  I once knew a person who worked with a former colleague and as soon as an improvement or process was introduced to the business, he would run around with his hands in the air exclaiming “I hate change why can’t it just stay the same as it always was”.  

Everything that happens in and around you is impacting on your senses to “change” you minute by minute, day by day.  You could be described as a work in progress and your life, your relationships, your business is in a constant state of change as change is the only constant.    Imagine for a moment the owner of a Vinyl Record Manufacturing company, around the time the Cassette Recorder was introduced to the market and making the decision, that change wasn’t necessary as portable music was just a fad!  Where would that company be today?   What about the Facsimile machine - did it destroy the Telex?   What is the future for printers?  The list is endless.

Business Coaching facilitates change in your environment

through the use of Neuro Linguistic Programming.  Neuro Linguistic Programming is how an experience is processed  in Neuro through the five senses of Visual, Audio, Kinaesthetic, Olfactory and Gustatory to give meaning to  use the following as a language experienced by Feelings ,Words ,Pictures, Sounds ,Smells and Tastes to communicate and run programs to achieve outcomes or to create an action or reaction.   Long explanation short NLP is the conversation we run inside to react a certain way on the outside.

Take this opportunity to rewrite your language patterns and culture so that you can communicate with your staff effectively, positively and develop capabilities to get your results and reach your goals.   Start your journey today with Katrina Bourke a Master Practitioner trained in NLP, NLP Coaching, Time Line Therapy TM and Hypnosis allow her to assist you to open the door to new levels of growth. 

Empowerment Coaching for individuals, teams and businesses towards maximising performance, profitability and sustainability to achieve desired outcomes.