This is the second in a series of posts about building a Breakthrough company.
Who’s the boss - The owner/manager or the customer?
Seems like an easy question, but most companies are structured to serve the boss, not the customer. Breakthrough companies make the choice to eliminate this “leadership bottleneck” because companies begin to slog when they over-manage from the top and neglect to respond to and anticipate changing customer tastes and needs.
In the beginning, the leadership bottleneck is normal and is actually helpful in providing direction to a new and inexperienced team. Many companies grow because of the efforts, ego and charisma of the leader. That is good. What’s bad is when it doesn’t change as the company attempts to scale up. You’ve witnessed it, the boss has all the relationships… the customer expects to talk to the boss… as if that can go on forever.
When The Leader Becomes The Problem
That’s the leadership bottleneck… too many customer decisions have go through the boss whether it’s a concern for getting things right or a need for control, it doesn’t matter. It slows everything down and creates customer communications problems because very few people can read the boss’ mind. Worse it ‘retards’ the growth of the very people who need to learn how to manage the customer without the boss. The result is slow response and declining loyalty and sales.
How Breakthrough Companies Fix The Leadership Bottleneck
In a breakthrough company, the boss gets out of the way and makes the customer boss by creating systems:
(1) Policies (return every call in 24 hours, or your money back if you are not happy).
(2) Metrics to measure happiness (surveys, delivery times, schedule accuracy).
(3) Training (dedicated account managers).
(4) CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software to track it all.
The Monthly Survey Solution
Simple once-monthly surveys (on a scale of one to ten) asking: How happy are you with our performance? are easy to do. You want 9’s and 10’s. Anything else must be investigated and addressed. Metrics can be tied to people to created direct accountability. If you can measure you can reward it… and cut people in on the growth in sales and profits.
With policy, metrics (goals), trained people, CRM scorecards and pay for performance you provide the platform to scale your business. Otherwise you are in for a long slow slog… get the boss out of the way and set up a system that motivates people to do the right thing for the customer.