When you are running your own business, you must consistently have a product that is good, a price that is very competitive, and the right customers to sell it to. Occasionally you might also need to deliver and service it. In order to accomplish these set steps, everyone has to know their job, perform it to certain standards that have been set by management, and all have the same goals. This can’t be done, unless they have all read the same set of standards, and know to follow a specific, consistent process, especially when they deal with customers.
So you’ve got the product, you’ve hired the people to sell it, and they have the knowledge to understand it and explain to prospective buyers. There is still a set process that must be followed to succeed in the sale and customer service that ensures a repeating customer.
A process was set in motion the moment you chose a product that you believed would sell to a specific group in the area of your store. Some set basis was used to determine prices, sales, how much to keep in stock, how to advertise, and what incentives to use.
Another set of processes is used to handle the accounting of your business. Bills have to be paid on time, invoices and bills of lading checked and paid, taxes, salaries, commissions…all accounts both payable and receivable. Can you imagine the chaos if you didn’t implement specific processes for all to follow?
All aspects of customer relations require processes that have been tried and worked, from generating leads to marketing, from estimating costs and giving quotes, to processing sales and handling inquiries.
Processes are required to be able to determine shipping dates, delivery dates, installations, service and repair.
You also need to know how to manage those processes. If they aren’t working well, they need to be altered and distributed to all employees so that a new method can be tried. It won’t succeed (or fail) conclusively unless all involved have followed the same process.
By having set processes to follow, your people will be able to quote realistically to customers, follow up on them, handle customer service face to face or on the phone, and deal calmly and intelligently with complaints.
Other benefits are that customers are more confident when they are treated consistently by all personnel, there are fewer delays, better all-around communication and understanding, and a happier, less stressed and more motivated staff.