Empower Your People

Do your customers really care whether or not your operation is efficient? Maybe they do; maybe they don’t. They really care more about the product they’ve bought from you, whether it’s a good product or not, or perhaps its price. They also care a great deal about how they were serviced.

Whether your customer walks in the door or calls on the phone asking for delivery makes little difference.

Let’s look at the wholesale side of our business. Say your delivery truck is out. You’ve got a nice truck. It’s clean and kept clean. Does your driver have a radio or cell phone so you can direct him to pick up a part elsewhere? Have you empowered your driver to issue credit memos on the spot? Can he call in on behalf of a customer to see if you have other parts available for him to pick up and deliver? Does your driver give out promotional materials you’ve provided about your company at every stop he makes? Do you maintain an active computer database from which your staff can do an instant parts search for a customer who’s ready to buy?

Our question is really whether or not your employee has the authority and equipment to service your customer right on the spot and get it done, regardless of your industry.

One of the real keys to significant success is running an operation that can take care of your customers’ requests as they come to you. People like that. People like getting what they want without a whole lot of effort. Improve on ways to meet that need and you will grow in front of your competitors.

We’re talking about your whole business culture in this chapter. What we’ve learned is so important it should not be ignored. Image is a thing to be polished. But before you polish it, you must examine it. You’ve got to look in the mirror first before you can see that you need to shave this or that. You have to open your eyes when you come to work in the morning and see your business as your customers see it. You have to look around on the floor of your car and in the back seat and change what is not presentable, change it to look the way success should look. You are only dealing with habit.

Ron has a friend who, when conducting interviews with job applicants, actually goes outside to the person’s car to see if there’s trash on the floor and whether the car is generally un-kept. If there is trash, the person doesn’t get the job.

Once you learn that you can affect a more positive image, that it is just a matter of seeing and changing the way you do things, you will have made dramatic steps toward significant success.

Once you’ve lifted yourself into those new shoes, you’ll see that expecting this kind of improvement from your staff is much easier. They’ll respect you for it. Then you empower them. Make it possible for them to shine, too, in front of your customer.

The shine comes from continually working on buffing things up to look better and run better. As you do this, you will see that not only is your customer base increasing, but your employees are happier too. Now they can brag about their workplace. You’ve empowered them with tools they need to provide great service, and together you all shine. That’s the picture of a company that will grow.

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