Here are three tips to help you succeed.
- Understand what your customers REALLY want going ahead
When planning for how you will evolve your products and services start by sitting down with your best customers and asking them these two questions:
- “What are the key challenges (good and bad) you will face in the next 12 months?”
- “If you had a magic want and no limitations, what could we do differently to improve our service to you in the next 12 months?”
The key to discovering the REAL opportunities for your business is to hear their challenges / ideas and translate that into how you can help. What can you add to your service offering that can help them? Sounds simple and it is! Why not grab a lunch or coffee with your top 5 customers prior to year’s end and ask each of them the above questions, you have nothing to lose.
2. Boost your accountability levels
A critical element to strategy implementation is accountability. Great strategies are developed during a planning weekend (or day), and include one page plans for implementation. However when there is no accountability loop, even after all that great work, you tent to find after 1-2 months things have ground to a halt as day-to-day issues get in the way. Building in as a ‘habit’ a two-week accountability loop with key team members for key strategies will ensure it happens as barriers can be discussed and addressed quickly. Making these accountability meetings short and sharp (maximum 30 minutes) every 2 weeks will ensure only strategic issues are discussed and addressed. If you operate by yourself find a coach or a peer you trust and use them for your accountability loop, you will notice the difference quickly.
3. Focus on the outcomes, not the inputs
To ensure that you are not only delivering but exceeding your customers’ expectations, ensure that you know and understand what the outcomes are that they are looking to realise from engaging with you. Customers are not interested in what you do, rather they are interested in what you help them achieve. They want results, not deliverables (although deliverables may form part of the output, it is not the reason in itself). To ensure that you are working on those things that are of importance to the customer make sure you know the outcomes they are looking for, the metrics which you will use to ascertain progress, and what it means to them if they realise the desired outcomes.
What has worked or not worked for you? Share your knowledge, share the wealth!
Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.