Working From The Bottom Up

I believe that to be ultimately successful in business, one must always be looking downward to the lowest rung on the corporate ladder. This is particularly true of a service related business. I am constantly preaching the gospel that before you can be a good customer service provider, you must first be an aware customer service receiver. As you spend your paycheck, pay close attention to who your main point of customer contact is and how they make you feel.

My experience is that whether you are making a purchase large or small, it is seldom an executive that leaves a lasting impression. The person most responsible for your attitude regarding your purchase will likely be someone on the bottom end of the salary, training and respect scale.

When you look closely, you will find that in nearly every instance, your most lasting feelings regarding your purchase will come from those least trained in building customer relationships. In the flooring business, this person is likely to be the installer.

When discussing an installer’s abilities, focus is nearly always placed on their hand skills. When was the last time that you invested in building their people skills? If the answer is “I don’t know” – let the red flags go up and the alarm sound! Can you realistically expect them to perform in a manner in which they have not been taught? If you are not making a consistent training investment in all areas of your staff, can you logically expect a positive return?  The realistic answer is no! You may not be paying attention, but you can be sure that your customer is.

Always remember the saying “good enough seldom is”. Leading firms never are satisfied to just get by. This is an area of great opportunity to differentiate your firm from the vast majority of the industry. Focus on what the customer sees. When you consistently do the seemingly small things well, large rewards can be yours.

Tom Jennings

Monday, June 10, 2013