Posts Tagged ‘management consultant’

Lies Do Not Inspire Customer Loyalty

When will customer service people from wait staff to store clerks to everyone else in between realize lies do not inspire customer service loyalty. No lies do exactly the opposite. Lies build distrust and turn existing loyal customers into finding other solution providers.

customer-loyaltyRecently we had breakfast at a national chain that features home cooking.  When the waitress took my order, I asked for extra syrup. The waitress replied “Absolutely.”  Another waitress brought our breakfast and again I had to ask for extra syrups. This waitress replied “No problem.”

Our waitress stopped by when I was halfway through my meal and I mentioned the extra syrup. She replied “Of course.” Finally when I was finished with my breakfast, she brought the extra syrup.

Then told my husband and myself the reason for the delay was she was attending a mandatory staff meeting.  She apologized when I told her to forget the syrup as I was finished with my meal.  Again, she apologized and mentioned the mandatory meeting a second time. As a sales and management consultant, my first thought was “Talk about stupid management having a meeting during a prime time” and my second thought was “Hmm I wonder if the waitress lied to cover her own bad customer service?”

At checkout I was asked “How was the food?”  I replied the food was great, but the customer service not so much so.  The clerk asked me what happened and I responded.

She then asked me to tell the manager directly which I did.  The manager was nice enough not to charge us for the pancakes and said the meeting was not a mandatory staff meeting.  In other words, the waitress lied.  Requesting an item 3 times is not the fault of management, but the fault of the wait staff. And yes there was plenty of wait staff as this was the usual busy Saturday morning

Customer loyalty especially for service industries such as restaurants, grocery stores, etc. where there is low profit margin is essential in today’s highly competitive B2C marketplace. Losing one customer can equate to hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the customer.

Very few people will fess up and acknowledge when they are at fault. This is human nature. Yet to lie to customer is not the answer for ongoing customer loyalty that is built upon expectations based upon past customer experiences.

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Surface Solutions Slam Small Business Success

The needs to increase sales and to secure sustainable business growth are two of the constants for small businesses. Sometimes these overworked entrepreneurs seek outside support to help them in one or more of these needs for their own small business success. This support ranges from operational areas of people to actual processes such as lean or sustainability.

small-business-successWhat happens in many instances is one of these two scenarios:

  • Unrealistic expectations by the small business owner respective to the desired results (AKA the quick fix)
  • Hiring of an inexperienced or even experienced  business coach or management consultant who is seeking his or her own quick fix

In either case, the result is usually a surface solution that fails to dig deep enough to find the root cause of the problem or problems. Small Business Coaching Tip:  The number one problem is poor, inconsistent or ineffective leadership.

Surface solutions are like icebergs because one fails to see what is underneath the surface.  And therein lies the problem as the Titanic discovered.

Another reason for the continued growth of these surface solutions is because there is no strategic plan. What is identified as organizational alignment is missing and in many instances ignored.

Failure to have alignment is directly tied to the impact of a solution on other areas of the firm.  Small business success happens when there is total alignment (meaning no performance gaps) between strategy, structure, processes, rewards and people (5 Star Model).

As alluded to earlier, probably the most common reason beyond the need by leaders for the quick fix is the ethical makeup of the business coach or management consultant.  In many instances, there is a small market for the truth.

When cash flow is tight, how many SMB  business coaches or management consultants are willing to speak the truth when they know the truth might cost them some revenue?  After all they are providing the solution the client wants even though it is a surface solution and in the majority of cases not sustainable or not the best solution because of misalignment. Who is willing to walk away from a lucrative contract because they may not have all the skills necessary? Business ethics play a significant role within the spread of surface solutions.

Small business success is a daily effort and for those who achieve it congratulations. For those still seeking it, possibly you may wish to reflect upon your own needs and be truthful.

Ask yourself are you seeking a surface solution (AKA the quick fix) be it by hiring a new salesperson to dramatically increase sales or hiring a business coach or management consultant to eliminate your perceived greatest barrier?

Possibly the words of Pogo might be appropriate right now:

“I met the enemy and he is me.”

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