Good business habits and how to stop bad ones creeping in

Do you drive today like you did on the day you passed your driving test? Do you read terms and conditions with the same scrutiny that you did the first time you made an online purchase? As we become familiar with something, we don’t necessarily approach it with the same diligence we once did.

That said, how do you ensure that client 100 receives the same level of service as client 1?

Bad habits can creep in. They might not be terrible habits – though they can be! It is often a case of an outstanding service being reduced to merely a good one, which is bad enough. To return to the driving analogy, you don’t have to have become a menace on the road before you realise that you’re not operating to the same standards you once did.

The key to ensuring a consistently outstanding level of service is to establish a clear process. This is not about treating each client the same; this is about ensuring you respond to each client’s unique needs with the same level of attention and dedication. You’re not making them jump through generic hoops; you’re holding yourself accountable to a set of rigorous checks.

There are many aspects to the driving test, but if you remember one thing it is most likely the process – ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’. Required facts, such as stopping distances, are only applicable in one specific situation and gradually fade from memory. You are far more likely to remember a process, mainly because it works – it is applicable for every junction, roundabout, and lane change.

Whatever may have slid from your memory, you probably still check mirrors and indicate because the process has become habitual. It doesn’t involve treating every situation the same but ensures you run through the same checks in order to treat each situation appropriately.

To ensure that client 100 receives the same treatment as client 1, you need to be very clear about the process you put in place on that first occasion and endeavour to replicate it every time. To form a new habit such as taking up exercise takes roughly a month to become habitual if done every day. Given you may not be meeting clients each day this process may take longer to become embedded but over time it will.

Building your business around good habits is the best way of preventing bad habits. Your process needs to be firmly built around your goals and your responsibilities and flexible enough to incorporate new, beneficial habits you develop along the way. It needs to be rigorous enough to hold you to your own initial high standards but simple enough to teach and export, as others will need to learn the process if your business is to grow…

Posted in: Business Tips

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