by Keith Abraham
As we enter the new Millennium your challenge and mine will be not just to survive in business or even to succeed in business but to have great significance in our competitive market place we compete in every day. This is our challenge!!!
In the past 5 – 10 years in business we have experienced major ongoing changes that have become more frequent, more encompassing and more difficult to keep up with of late. Let me share with you the 3 WHAT’S OF CHANGE.
1. WHAT HAS CHANGED IN OUR MARKET PLACE
Apart from flatter structures, fewer people, the introduction of multi-skilling, the process of engineering and decentralising or centralising, depending on what phase your organisation is going through – nothing has changed much really.
But seriously now, have you noticed that there are more astute and demanding customers and clients in your market place. They have far greater choices where to spend their dollar. Consumers are more aware of the difference between good service and great service – and they want great service now – I mean right now!!!
Speed is also a unique leverage point in today’s market place. Australians are a unique breed of customer because we want fast efficient service delivered in a personal, caring way – with a smile and good cheer. The Japanese want a service process with little or no personality attached to it. The America’s want service that has personality plus attached to it, in actual fact the more personable and different, the better.
As Australians, it’s simple. We want both – right now!!! I think this comes from the unique cultural influence Asia and America has had upon our land.
2. WHAT STILL HAS TO CHANGE IN OUR BUSINESSES
For us to compete in the ever shrinking global village we call the world. We need to embrace a philosophy of service so that it will start to impact our culture and the people that make up our culture.
Isn’t it funny or sad when you think about it long and hard. Every organisation wants their people to give great customer service, work together better in a team environment. Every organization wants their people to know how to sell and why we sell products and how to have a positive and confident attitude and yet we don’t teach any of this at school or university. But that’s what every organisation wants from their people.
So what needs to change – the quality of service we give to our customers, the development of highly focused well directed teams and we need to go from product floggers to service partners in the eyes and hearts of our customers.
One of our greatest changes that we will have to face will be – Gaining Greater Loyalty from Customers. This will need you to be in frequent contact with them, constantly adding value to your business relationship through special offers, customer recognition programs and by always differentiating yourself in your market place.
3. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CHANGE TO BE EQUIPPED FOR THE FUTURE
You and I need to make the transition from the Manager to the Leader and start to develop Leaders around us and fast!!! What do I mean by a leader? Well you need to get in there and lead by example firstly. You then need to identify people who would make great leaders in your organisation and then specifically go out of your way and develop a plan to equip them for tomorrow’s market place.
Your people need a Coach, a Cheer Leader and a Mentor in their corner not someone who scores cheap points off of in field of corporate politics. If you’re not sure where to start, then start with goal setting session – did you know that only 5% of your work force has any clear direction? Then do a skill audit that relates to both personal qualities and technical knowledge. After that map out a 12 month personal and professional development plan for them to see if they will rise to the challenge.
Developing people from within your organisation is cheaper in the long run, you get greater loyalty and you don’t buy an unknown person with unknown problems. Before you ask the question – What if they keep on leaving us when we skill these people up to be leaders? If this happens on a fairly regular basis then look at your culture and take a long hard look at yourself – maybe you’re the problem not the solution.
We sure are entering some interesting times because we have just come from some interesting times. A time when instant coffee made in a microwave is too slow. If you want to know if you and your organisation are equipped for the future, just call me and I would only be too happy to conduct a LEADERSHIP AUDIT so that you know the pulse of your future business.
Keith Abraham CSP is a Brisbane-based professional conference speaker on Creating Loyal Profitable Customers, Customer Service, Strategic Selling, and Designing Your Life. He is the author of Creating Loyal Profitable Customers! and recipient of the Nevin Award which is the highest award given to any speaker by the National Speakers Association Australia. [email protected], 0411 64 8080, http://www.keithabraham.com.au
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