Every successful business operator knows that the key to building a customer base and getting repeat business year after year is to deliver outstanding customer service. The product mix may change over time, but its quality and the after-sales service offered by the business, stays in customers’ memories for a long time.
Incremental changes every day move a company forward to meet changing markets, but in our rapidly changing business environment, customers expect more but want to pay less. We see this every day as our team at Charter Partners works with our clients to help them improve their businesses.
We believe there are three things today’s business operators must keep in focus if they want to remain successful. They must be innovative, be ready to reinvent themselves to meet the market and be prepared to reorganise themselves to stay efficient.
Innovate to Get Ahead of Change
Clever managers recognise that ideas come from everywhere in their organisation, and they focus on creating a workplace where employees will freely express their ideas for improvement. They may design a new, improved work process that saves time and money, they could suggest something to delight the customer to get repeat business or even a whole new product line for management to investigate.
Ideas don’t just reside in the boardrooms and offices of senior management. The employees working in the business, and dealing daily with the customers they often have a better idea of how the market is changing than the CEO.
Don’t Give Up – Reinvent
Sometimes the business environment changes so much that even a successful company finds itself struggling. There have been notable examples in recent times. For example, McDonalds Australia have revamped their restaurants and menus in response to customer dissatisfaction with their offerings.
Rather than struggle on ignoring the market, the company sought customer feedback, then acted on it. It began to reinvent itself in the mid-2000s by introducing healthy options like salads and wraps, tried different cooking techniques, upgraded their menus and have almost doubled their profits over the past ten years.
When a Reorganisation is the Only Choice
Many businesses have significant market share, a great product line and loyal customers, but are not moving ahead the way they should be. Often this is the result of years of complacency, keeping the status quo and not taking advantage of new technologies and better work practices.
These companies benefit from reorganising an old-fashioned management structure and investing in new technology. A flatter structure with fewer levels of management, more autonomy for decision-making and a rapid staff development program can increase productivity and profit, and stimulate innovation.
These are the essential challenges for today’s managers. To provide their customers with excellent service and great products they must be constantly moving ahead and we at Charter Partners will be working alongside them, giving advice and assistance.