of Business-to-Business Service Providers: Part 3
A reliance on people
to deliver - The consistency challenge.
The third challenge of business-to-business service
providers we shall look at is the reliance on people
to deliver your service, what I term the Consistency
If you run a contract cleaning service, how do you
deliver the quality you’ve promised? How do you
ensure Bill or Jane turn up at the clients? If you run
a car dealership, how do you ensure cars are correctly
serviced/repaired and ready on time.
While many go by the maxim that their staff are their
greatest asset, often the biggest single frustration
for business owners are their employees. Staff can create
many different challenges, but when they are negatively
affecting the quality of your service and your reputation,
action must be taken. Better still, how can these lapses
be avoided in the first place?
There is clearly not sufficient space here to adequately
address all the possible approaches and indeed many entire
books have been written on this topic alone. But here
are a small number of pointers for consideration:
- Getting your recruitment right is clearly fundamental.
Finding staff with not only the required skills, but,
critically, the right attitude. Look at how you recruit
and when mistakes have been made, be prepared to take
- Don’t just think people (politeness and smiles),
think systems. Systems for doing the job right first
time and systems in place to deal with problems when
things go wrong. The more operational variations you
can eliminate, the better your service will be. How
can you design in consistency to your service operation?
- Client feedback. Make it easy for your customers
to tell you what they think of your service, but don’t
pester them. How will you find out if service is slipping,
before it becomes a real issue?
We shall hopefully visit some of these specific areas
in months to come.
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