The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What if today, right now, no jokes at all, you were actually in charge, the boss, the Head Honcho. Write the “call to arms” note you’re sending to everyone (staff, customers, suppliers, Board) charting the path ahead for the next 12 months and the next 5 years. Now take this manifesto, print it out somewhere you can see, preferably in big letters you can read from your chair.
You’re just written your own job description. You know what you have to do. Go! (bonus: send it to the CEO with the title “The things we absolutely have to get right – nothing else matters.”) Author: Sasha Dichter
First a quick trip down memory lane
Let me start by saying I was the head-honcho, boss, etc. and it was not always so much fun. I owned and operated a bridal boutique for nearly 15 years (I worked for free for more than one of these years). Maybe it was because like most small businesses, I was usually cash poor, but as hard as I worked, it never seemed enough.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some terrific perks to being the boss which included: business paid my car and insurance payment, my hours were flexible, and I got to travel to different locales for buying trips. Basically, I did everything on my own terms.
Now it’s time for a call to arms
First things first, corporate America needs a better more empathetic view from the field. As a field leader, I want to ensure my staff is happy and engaged. The best way to achieve this goal is to make employees believe they are respected. Many of them feel as if they are dispensable and their services are undervalued.
Recognition should not be financially prohibitive and can come in many forms. A pat on the back or “good job” from upper management can mean the world to an associate who works in the trenches.
Most important of all, an associate at any level must perceive his job is important to the overall good of the company. Cleaning bathrooms, pouring coffee, cash register duty, is all crucial to the overall environment in which we work. We will retain happier, more productive, higher quality employees by taking the time to find out their needs, understand and fulfill them to the best of our ability.
Create a dialog with the customers
For too long good customers have been as dispensable as good employees. You may entice a purchaser once by offering a lower price, but what caliber of customer is attracted and what keeps her coming back? Like a valuable employee, business patrons need to sense their importance in the bigger picture. Each customer IS the most important client you have. By ignoring this fact, you are stumbling over dollars to save dimes.
Customer feedback is typically avoided at all costs (my guess is because no one wants to hear bad news). What most of corporate America does not understand is that growth occurs through feedback. Discover what they require and how you can deliver the desired product or service. Consumers who care, share their thoughts with you whether they are good or bad. The majority of the unhappy customers simply disappear rather than give the opportunity to make things right.
We must become a company that not only hears our clients, but answers their questions and truly fulfills needs. Social media is the appropriate venue to create an open dialog with our customers. We can follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, or Foursquare to name a few. I foresee a social media department that is based on customer experience.
Within the next year we need to be actively participating in open discussion forums in order to create a superior experience for our customer. Through a company Facebook fan page or blog, we will generate useful and remarkable content that will help our customer discover her style and build loyalty.
Through establishing and retaining loyal clientele and employees, we will be more successful in the long run. I look forward to being a part of our future.
- Call To Arms: A Blog Post (sanjaysabarwal.com)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: Self Reliance Prompt #8 (miriamgomberg.wordpress.com)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: Self Reliance Prompt #10 (miriamgomberg.wordpress.com)
- Social Media Guidelines For AV (pkaudiovisual.com)
- How To Socially Date Customers. (successful-blog.com)