The best things in life are simple. Sunsets. Ice cream. Sleep ins or early nights. Or both. Ocean dips. (Can you tell I am writing this in Fiji, as I wait for the Nurture retreat to start?!)
The same is true for business. We can over-complicate it, over-think it, over-strategise it but at the end of the day, your best chance of success is being better than your competitors. (If you’re in a viable market with a good product or service, that is.) You don’t even have to be wildly better…
What if I challenge you to improve by 2%? Just 2%. Look at facets of your life and business and aim to be 2% better at it. Systems, sales, staff interactions, customer experience, production, delivery, your offering, your marketing — all of it.
Same goes for you personally — can you do 2% better with your fitness, your sleep, filling your bucket, putting down your phone, your diet?
Looking for that 2% does two things. It encourages you to continuously look to improve, to analyse how you do things and to look for a slightly better (2% way). This is a great habit to get into.
Secondly, it will help you move ahead. It’s not hard to be 2% better than your competitor. If you can improve one facet a week by 2%, then another the next, then another, you’ll quickly gain traction and soon take the lead.
The easiest, most rewarding place to start looking for a 2% improvement is with your customers. Why? Because they’re ultimately the most important part of your business (equal with your team). Doing 2% better with your customer service will go a long way to creating happy customers, in an era where we’re now pumping our own petrol, packing our own groceries and doing our own banking.
Some simple 2% upgrades to customer service:
- A surprise discount or gift when the customer is at checkout
- A recommendation of another item or service they might need (you might feel like this is an upsell — and it is — but it’s also helpful and provides value if you’re genuinely recommending it. Think: shoe spray for new leather shoes before they head out into the rain.)
- Empower your team to make decisions to promptly solve customer issues
- Making contact with customers after you’ve finished delivering your service or product to them to check their happiness with it (how long after depends on what you do and offer)
- Giving a gift and hand-written card on completion of a big purchase ie kitchen/website/car delivery
- Getting your team together and asking where they think your business could improve. Questions around what frustrates them, what holds them back from doing a better job, and if they were a customer what would they change?
- An email to VIPs letting them know about a sale a day earlier or giving them an extra special offer
- Ask your clients how they prefer to be contacted — email, call, text — and then do it, even if it’s not your preference
- Be 2% better at listening to customers
- Improve your newsletter to clients so they get more value from it
- Put your team through training to help them be better at their job – faster on checkout, more knowledgeable on products or services, a sharper communicator etc
- Reward exceptional customer service so your team strive to do better
- Use a customer’s name in conversation — it’s amazing how far the personal touch will take you
- Improve your response times. Faster response to emails, phone calls, live chat, customers waiting in-store for help
- Work on improving your customer feedback methods, both collection and doing something about the responses
- Smile (terrible that I even have to list this as being an optional extra but true!)
Go the extra mile — do an additional 2%. Make a concerted effort to improve your business by 2% every week and you’ll soon improve your bottom line. It sounds too simple — but remember that the best things in life often are…