In the past six weeks I have been fortunate to do some traveling. I started in Florida where I witnessed a successful rocket launch – a marvel of modern technology. Shortly after that I visited Greece where I saw buildings and artifacts well over 3,000 years old, still intact today. Even though these two man-made accomplishments are centuries apart, both hold valuable lessons for business owners.
The biggest common denominator here is that the creators Got it Right! There may have been challenges along the way; however, the end result was correct. Can you say the same thing about your products/services? Your customer wants you to solve their problem – the first time.
Isn’t a Guarantee Enough?
Yes, your guarantee tells your customer that you stand behind your work and you will make sure they are satisfied, but is that what they are looking for? There is a very big difference between Getting it Right and Making it Right. No one wants the hassle of making a return or having to place a service call. Even though you corrected the problem, what the customer will remember is that you did not get it right the first time and you needed to go back and fix something.
There are several home improvement shows where a contractor has done shoddy work and a reputable contractor arrives to save the day and “Make it Right.” Think of your customer as the beleaguered homeowner. After spending tens of thousands of dollars they were expecting a good job, not the need to hire someone else and spend more money to fix things. Do you want to be known as the business who Makes it Right, or be known as the business who always Gets it Right?
Why is Getting it Right Important?
- It will save you time and money. When you get things right the first time, you don’t have to go back and fix them later. This can save you a lot of resources that are better spent elsewhere.
- It improves quality. When you have taken the time to think through all of the details and make sure that everything is done correctly, that is taken the time to do things right, the quality of your work is usually better.
- It builds trust. When people know that you can get things right, they are more likely to trust you. This will lead to more opportunities and better, ongoing relationships. It will also encourage customers to refer you to others.
- It will boost your Team’s morale. People who feel like they are doing a good, quality job are more likely to be happy and motivated. They take pride in the work that they do and the company that they do it for. This leads to a more productive and positive work environment.
How do you Get it Right?
- Do your research. Find out everything you can about the product or service, what your customers are looking for, and what possible problems exist. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to make sound decisions.
- Plan ahead. Take the time to think through all of the possible outcomes and make a plan for how you will handle each one. Better yet, design a solution that will work in most cases.
- Mistakes happen. Make sure your team knows it’s OK to ask for help and that they don’t have to cover anything up. Empower them to proactively solve problems and fix issues before the customer finds out.
- Be honest with yourself and your customers. Don’t sell something that you cannot deliver and be realistic about timelines. If there are delays or problems tell your customer right away, along with your solution.
- Keep yourself organized. Having a system for organizing your thoughts, tasks, and information can help you stay on track and avoid making mistakes.
- Build and document processes so that you consistently deliver quality. Systems assure reliability. By reducing guesswork you reduce errors and improve the likelihood of getting things right the first time.
- Use the principle of Kai Zen – continuous improvement. Always look for ways to do a more effective and efficient job. As a result, your customers will learn to rely on you to always do the best job for them.
Getting it right is important for many reasons. It can save you time and money, improve quality, build trust, and boost morale. If you want to be successful, it is important to make sure that you get things right, so you do not have to go back and make it right. Or worse, your customer has to call someone else in to fix your mistake. What we build today may not last for 3000 years, but it should last for as long as our customer needs it.
If you want to take a deeper look at your business, let’s set up a time to talk.
Author: Sandy Merritt, Business Coach in Louisville, KY