Companies, shareholders or managers don’t create jobs and prosperity . Clients satisfaction creates jobs, prosperity and a better life for companies, shareholders and employees.

Company should have one reason : to satisfy clients. Without this main objective no company will survive on the market, will exist.

How many board meetings you saw having the topic ” Clients satisfaction”? How many companies you know that have a system to measure constantly client satisfaction? How many CEO’s or Top Managers you saw going to clients constantly, ask for feedback? Why do you think Richard Branson travels with regular Virgin line asking passengers for feedback, for ways to improve services? How many of Virgin services  were created  based on clients feedback?

Let’s see what you can accomplish focusing on clients satisfaction. A satisfied client will come back? So retention it’s one of the objectives. A satisfied client will tell to at least  5 new people ( statistics say that and also say that an unsatisfied client will tell to at least 25 people) .So growth , new clients is the second objective .Growth will increase revenue, cash flow , so third main objective you can accomplish. Measuring clients satisfaction can give you feedback for improving services, expending your products/services range. What this means ? New clients for your new products/services.

I’ve mentioned only few objectives you can accomplish focusing on clients satisfaction. Why you don’t implement a system for measuring clients satisfaction? Why you don’t create a system for visiting clients by all Top Management? Make them come down from the castle tower  to see the reality, not just some figures. Maybe figures on papers ( or on your fancy  laptop screen) will look good for a short period of time. But clients feedback will always  be your truth guide  , telling you if you’re on the right path.

And for managers , employees are their customers. Without employees satisfaction, company will not have the results they could have. All managers accomplishes goals through lead on employees. So constantly measure your employees satisfaction. Your employees  believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it?

Anunțuri

The magic pill or you create a system to heal a company or a person

In business as in life you need a system to have a healthy business or a healthy body.
If not brushing your teeth twice a day (morning and evening) you’ll end up in having tooth decay and lose your teeth.
If you do not train your employees, you will not give them the necessary tools to pursue their goals, you will not explain you employees goals to fulfill, and how to reach them, eventually they will leave or you would fired them.
If you’ll not have a healthy nutrition, you’ll not make sport , you’ll end up in getting sick, and your life expectancy will decrease.
Same thing happen with your company. If you don’t have a a system to find the most suitable suppliers , to find target market, to approach your potential clients , to discover and anticipate clients needs, to know and anticipate and prepare for clients objections, to close a sale, to find the most suitable marketing tools to reach your target market , to create basically a system for your company, you’ll end up getting sick and bankrupt.
You know what’s the paradox in life and in business? When a person goes to doctor because he has stomach or head pains , all he needs is a magic pill , and he wants to return to what he’s doing usually. The patient doesn’t want to hear that he might have ulcer or a brain tumor , he might need surgery , he might need a treatment and recovery time, he might need to change his behavior. All he needs is a magic pill.
The same thing happen with companies when a consultant approach them or they approach him. They want a magic pill so they can go back to what they were doing usually. If you tell them that they might need a surgery to extract what they were doing wrong , that they need a time to create a healthy system for the company, that they need a new way to approach sales, find target market, create marketing tools, motivate people, create procedures , train employees , in one word, create a system , all they want is a magic pill.
All people and companies think that they will be healthy forever, no matter what we do and how we treat our body or our company. When you’re young , you think you’ll live forever. When economy is booming , you think it will stay that way forever ( remember before 2008).
As you get older , your health will not be the same if you behave in a certain way. The same with companies when recession came. They can’t survive without a system, because demand decreased , competition increased and it’s not enough just to start a company and clients will come to your door. Still , all they need is a magic pill. Nobody wants to make an effort to change behavior, to create a system, to invest in people training, to have patience because healing is a process and takes time.

The biggest mistake that most companies do with their employees

Few months ago I had an interesting conversation with a Top Executive ( and owner) about employee turnover in sales department. He told me that despite the fact that he pays great salaries, great commissions, he gives nice cars to sales reps , laptop, smart phone etc. sales people don’t produce results. I asked him if he’s doing something to  help them, to support them in achieving results. His answer was that he provided all conditions mentioned above , he pays very good ,  what else he could do? Instead of answering I’ll give you some examples. What are you doing with your child when he has  seven years old and goes to school? My dear child , this is the school , this are your brand new shoes, this is your school bag, your nice lunch box. Now you have to go to school and I’m expecting straight A’s  from you and, if you succeeded that,  I’ll give you a laptop, a smart phone and a vacation to Disneyland .

When you have a broken home appliance and you want it to fix it,  but you don’t have the proper knowledge, you end up send it to the repairing center ,if you’re lucky and you have not completely destroyed it and threw . Is not the same with your employees? They try to succeed , but at one point , because of lack of support , training or clear procedures from the company , they quit or they are fired .

 It makes me sad when I see so many companies having employees with no proper tools to do their job ( and I don’t mean cars, laptops, nice desk).

If in your sales department , to continue the conversation with  Top Executive, you explained  to your sales force what is the target market , what script to use to schedule an appointment , what are five questions to use them to discover client needs, what are three most common customer objections and how to overcome them , what are three methods to close the sale , you think your sales force would be more successful ?

At one point Napoleon said that the biggest soldiers demotivation is fog .Is not the same when your employees don’t know how to do their job? It’s not foggy for them? Clear their path with specific tools ( training, procedures, clear KPIs you expect from them)  and milestones where you can measure and adjust ways to achieve results.

Stop selling and start helping your clients

Some of you will disagree with this message. I hope that after reading this article maybe you’ll start thinking seriously about helping your clients instead of a quick sale.

Every time you sell something, if what you have sold is not helping the client,  you are one step closer to lose your business. If what you sell is not helping them , it might drive  to lose their business ( or in BtoC they will never come back to you for selling them something). And guess what? You lost a client for a quick buck.

How many companies have a must in finding clients needs? How many companies have clear procedures to find client needs, to ask questions for uncover the real needs? How many companies spend enough time with your clients to find their real needs?

Let’s pretend you want to sell to a cruise ship captain and you’ll ask the captain if he needs some life vests? He tells you that the boat is unsinkable . You ask him if there’s anything else he might need,  and he tells you that it might not have enough champagne for first class. You sell them  champagne but you hear that the boat sinks because of  lack of life vests and the captain dies. You’ve sold them something they don’t need ,instead of sell them what they really need .

Isn’t it possible that you  sell champagne to your clients instead of life vests? Isn’t it possible that you sell for quick buck instead of spending some time with your clients to find the real needs of them?

Spending time with your clients, asking them questions, digging for finding  the real needs of your clients should be one of your company main objectives.

In business as in life it’s all about giving and not to receiving

I want to write this believes , which I think  , is  the essence of life and business. Do you think your family needs more appreciation from you? Have you thought that you can  spend  more time with your mother, father, kids, wife/husband? Do you think they need more attention from you? Do you think you appreciate them enough? You are spending enough time with your kids? They know well enough what you feel about them? What about your colleagues at work? Have you showed them enough consideration, appreciation? Have you made a purpose to give more for your clients? Have you made a purpose to give more for your staff, partners? Do you think your company will work better if you made a clear purpose to give more value added for your clients , to create a better work environment for your company, to train , motivate, show appreciation to your staff? You don’t need a tone of money to motivate your staff or show them your appreciation  .You just need to set as  personal goal to make their life better. To show them your appreciation, it doesn’t  cost any money. Spending time  with them, and explained them company values and goals, it doesn’t cost any money. To helped them to grow and understand which are their personal goals in life and within the company and what motivates them , it doesn’t cost any money. The same think with your clients. To understand their needs , to showed them that you care about their needs, to treat them with respect and consideration . Set as  your personal goal to make your clients a better life and you’ll find ways to do it without spending a tone of money. Just set this as a  personal goal and you’ll see that ideas will come. Receiving it’s an effect , not a cause. Fulfill your part of giving and you’ll be surprised about  how your life, your relationship with your family ,  your company, your department, your team will change. „Just do it”  like Nike says .Set this as a personal goal for this year and see what will happened.

Company= satisfy the 3 levels of needs

What is a business? A company that was created to satisfy a need or more for a group of potential or existing clients? That’s it? How about that business is a company created to satisfy a need or more for the owner? How about that business is a company created to satisfy a need or more for your employees? Do you think is possible to think like this?

Nobody is starting a company with the real purpose to satisfy clients needs. First, owners starts a company to satisfy her/his needs, isn’t it?The need for money, appreciation, to grow professionally , to accumulate goods etc.

Why somebody is buying your product/service? To fulfill one or more of his/her needs. This part almost every company thinks.

Nobody is joining a company to satisfy company or clients needs. „I want to join this company to serve my managers and company clients wich I don’t know anything about”. First, they join the company for fulfilling one or more of her/his needs. This part do you think is the most neglected part of the business process?I believe it is.

Do you think that all 3 levels should function well in order to have success in your business?All 3 levels are complementary and interconnected. .

Every person in this world has 6 needs , but they are dominated by 2-3. .Every company that is successful on long term have the strategy to fulfill and to constant improve how they can satisfy all 3 levels of a business needs

Do you think when we start a company , buy a product/service , join a company we have one need?

Owners, employees and clients have 6 human needs when they start a company, buy your product/service or join a company.

The most ignored level is needs of your employees. Most of the companies thinks that paying a salary and bribe them with some bonus or commission is all it takes to make an employee to be motivated. This can work on short, maybe medium term. But , eventually, salary , bonus and commission gets old. Employees are getting used to income they have and are not functioning the same like the beginning . Employees have needs like to grow, to be appreciated ( and not only through money), to feel connected with the team they are working with, they need for variety , certainty .Money is only one need for your employees.

Being the most ignored level of the companies I detailed the 6 needs of every employees.

  1. Security, certainty about their job and about the future of the  company .They constantly want to know  that they have a secure job, will not be fired and the management of company   knows where to go. They need to know  that  the company have a good future.This feeling of certainty can be done showing to all employees where the company goes  and how will reach the objectives. It’s very important to constantly  communicate with all your employees about company objectives.
  2. Variety that every employee needs in order that their job not to become old.This feeling of variety can be done by exchanging places  for 1 day/1 week Ex: Store  rep  will go to logistic department for a day to work there;  Accountant  will go in a shop to work  1day/week.
  3. Importance for the company is another need of your employees that is ignored  most of the time.Employees needs to feel that they are important for the company, they are a valuable asset.This feeling of significance can be done by:

–      Incentive programs for company employees.

–      Diplomas every month for top departments  employees.

–      A Diplomat Club  Billboard for top employees/ month.

–      President of the company or CEO invite at dinner  every month  top employees of each department.

4. Connection, part of the group need is when your employees feel  they have as  second family at work, they are proud  working  within the company. This feeling of connection can be done by: 

–      Team buildings.

–      Each location ( stores in different cities) should have a “Go Out Together Program”- theater, movies, sport events, barbeque.

–      Other actions made together as a team.

  1. To Grow -is one of the most important need of your employees . This need  is causing  lack of  motivation for more than 80% of  employees. Employees  needs to feel that they are growing ( or they are dying professionally)They need to feel  progress  working there, that are making steps of achievement .
  • This feeling of growing can be done by changing the titles of company positions and reward growing: Ex
  • Sales rep junior                 junior buyer
  • Sales rep senior                                Senior buyer
  • Sales rep master              master buyer
  • Shop manager                   buyer manager

 Set rules and rewards  for achieving steps. Set a time frame( 18 months)  and a reward ( 10% increase in salary ).

 

  1. Contribution
  • Employees needs to feel  that they can help their coworkers, team members, subordinates .
  • Employee needs to feel that they are contributing to the society.
  • They will perform better being part to an entity who contribute.
  • This feeling of contribution  can be done by:

–      Being sponsor to an orphanage

–      Organizing found raises for orphanages ( with best clients and best collaborators).

–      Going every Easter and Christmas at orphanages or poor people shelter with company employees.

The same 6 needs are for owner and for clients .I’ll come back with that in a future article.

If you don’t create  a strategy to understand why you started  a company ( this reasons will motivate you to move forward in the difficult periods of any company) , why your clients  buys from you ( and how can you add more value for your clients, having the mission to improve every day this) and how you can make your employees to give 100% for your company, feeling that they are part of the company mission to satisfy clients needs , eventually sooner or later you’ll fail .

HR importance and role within the company success

          This article comes from reading an article wrote by Jack Welch. I believe that HR department it’s important for the company but it’s not above all departments. Let’s talk about HR department functions:

          1.Recruiting- they have to search and provide a short list for the manager to hire staff for a department. How many of you saw managers hiring staff because HR provide them quality staff ( I don’t want to upset HR manager because is next to CEO in board meeting).How many of you saw a recruiting member of an HR department staying for a day ( normally should stay a week ) in every department of the company try to acknowledge what that department is doing , what requirements is needed for staff in that department. How many of you saw an add for recruiting copied  from company job description and not asking the manager what he’s looking for a future employee? Department manager should know the best what staff is needed to a department, don’t you think?

           2.Motivation ( orientation, career path management etc) -how many HR departments saw making a brainstorm asking department managers what they should do better to motivates company staff? Do you think HR knows better what is needed for your staff departments? They probably never saw your staff, work with your staff, so how come they know better? How many of you saw a survey conducted by HR asking  staff what motivates them? How can you create a motivation strategy for staff when you don’t know what motivates them? Every company has different employees with different needs.  Is it personal development ( 40% of your staff) , is it the feeling of contribution to company success ( 30% of your staff), appreciation that they are doing a great job for the company ( 25% of your staff) etc. Do you think is important to understand first what they need to perform better before your create motivation strategy for your staff? How many of you saw that HR send department managers to attend to training that his/her team will attend and give feedback , if it’s suitable or not for the team? Why HR knows better what skills you want to improve in  your team?

            3.Evaluation,assessment – how many HR departments  you saw having a discussion with department managers requesting what they should add to assessing an employee’s job performance and productivity? How come they know better what you’re looking for from your staff? How come they never ask a department manager what they are looking for in this evaluation process from the staff they are managing?

            I strongly  believe in HR importance , but it has to function properly. HR should be an assistance for every manager , every department ,  a tool for the company success. But in some companies HR became above departments, not an assistance department. If they are above departments they should be accountable for company results, don’t you think? How many of you saw an HR employee been kicked out from the company because sales dropped , or advertising campaign didn’t increase sales, or service level in call center was low, or financial figures are bad? If you want to be above departments, don’t you think you should be accountable for that? If you know better then department managers,and results are bad ,  it means you didn’t provide quality short list for recruiting, you didn’t motivate better your staff and didn’t evaluate the staff and kicked the ineffective employee, isn’t it?

            So, HR should be in the center of every company , but as an adviser, a support department, a link between every department,  working together for increasing productivity in each and every department.Also HR department should have weekly meetings with managers of each  department to understand and act for achieving better results from human resources of the company.