Sunday, 23 October 2011

Is speed enough to keep your clients loyal ?

This weekend I received a press release from a "global leadership consultancy" espousing the virtue of speed, as the "new" competitive weapon, in the new world economy, for big business.

Now there's a big surprise - NOT!

How many conversations have you had with colleagues where you have commented on the lax approach of your telecoms provider in resolving a fault, the length of the queue in your bank, the time listening to a seemingly never ending stream of Music while a recorded voice says they are sorry for the delay, but all their representatives are on other calls?

All the examples are generally associated with larger companies, not with owner managed ones; where the customer experience is automatically associated with the speed of delivery of their goods or services.

So those of us engaged in business support, or customer support sectors, in the sub 250 employees, or Small Medium Enterprise arena, have for years recognised the value of speed in gaining a market edge. Should we now be concerned that the bigger companies are waking up to this?

Somehow I doubt it. As I read further it became clear that the speed being referred to was not aimed outwardly. It was in fact aimed inwardly at making sure that new staff were brought up to speed quicker, and that existing staff understood new services or goods faster. It went on to say that terms such as; change management, leadership development, team development and on-boarding are old business terminology, while "performance acceleration" reflects the greater levels of urgency in today’s commercial and corporate world.

I do feel they have missed a point here. What the customer wants is an accessible, effective service, one that does not waste their time and respects the fact that they have used the suppliers services. This is common to any business whatever the size. It's what happens between sales that builds the trust and delivers new businesses, either repeat orders or recommendations/referrals.

Yes you should be aware of the changes in the corporate world, but your focus should be on serving your clients in simpler, faster, effective innovative ways. Never loose sight that where as speed can bring success, it works better coupled with care, quality and consistency of service.

Until next time, stay safe and remember with passion and energy you can make things happen.