Imagine if you had to produce the world’s best widget or deliver an exceptional 5-Star service experience to your largest customer, once every four years. How different would your organization look? Like athletes you might feel pressure to try multiple options or techniques or processes to achieve the most perfect result possible. Of course, most businesses don’t have the four-year option to perfect their customer experience.
What if we had developed an internal culture where the whole organization felt like every customer was the opportunity for your company to be the Gold Medal winner. Land that one and your cash flow won’t be a worry for a very long time.
For some Gold Medal businesses, actions that may feel like luxury investments today may become commonplace (latest technology, a host of trainers/experts, world class facilities). Being “good enough” wouldn’t cut it. For example, a perfect delivery 98% of the time might simply not be good enough. If the 2% late was for a the big customer who is seriously impacted, it may be a hard recovery.
One thing that is apparent when watching Olympic athletes perform is that they know everything about their performance. If they are in a sport where being the fastest determines the winner, then the athletes know how they are doing down to the tenth of a second – not just at the finish line but at the start and throughout. If they are in a sport where the winner is chosen by a judge, the athletes seem aware of how their performance will be judged down to the second decimal point. If they are part of a team, they know every skill and limitation of their teammates. Thinking about this metaphor, how does your business stack up with those scoreboards? What metrics do you have, how often are they reviewed, what happens when something goes off the rails, does your team feel responsible for their part in final customer performance?
The question is: Do your employees know exactly how high the bar is and the impact they have on success? Do you provide them with performance metrics daily or at least weekly?
Many business leaders intuitively understand where there are roadblocks or hinderances to top performance, but may rely on customer forgiveness when errors are made. Too much forgiveness ends up with the customer looking elsewhere, without a word to you about why they are leaving. Or, commonly, “we got a better price,” even if they didn’t.
Companies whose performance metrics are significant differentiators, are more than willing to develop and track systems that quickly and clearly identify issues when they happen. And, when there are problems, they set about resolving them long term in addition to a quick fix. In companies who wish to achieve Olympic level delivery, it means every team member needs to be unhappy with anything less than world class.
Our clients who are creating competitive advantage take that next step towards perfection with the right metrics for the right activity. Then they communicate these metrics every chance they get to employees, customers, and prospects.