Head down, bum up - the only way to succeed
While luck may play a role, and serendipity certainly cannot be ignored, very few business people have succeeded without having a good product or service, knowing how to market it and working incredibly hard with the right team in place.
Listening to veteran public speaker Shep Hyken at the recent EO Miami University, reminded me that more than ever, hard work, understanding the customer and their needs is part of the parcel of building and sustaining a company that is profitable, industry leading and competitive.
"Be better than average," Shep spruiks.
Another comment that resonates strongly with me from Shep's presentation is "One person represents everyone". If someone answers the telephone like they are getting out of bed in the morning, then the caller will think your whole company is asleep. If when you stay at a hotel, and you leave something behind like I did the other day at Hotel Breakwater in Miami Beach, and you have to call 16 times for someone to actually check over 3 days, then what do you think the service will be like at that hotel? Terrible. And it was. Possibly the worse hotel I have ever stayed in and my $800 pair of Fendi heels are mysteriously not there - when I rung less than half an hour after I left the room and told them exactly where it was. Would you trust your belongings in this hotel after this, not likely.
Shep's presentation was largely on customer service. He believes that there are 10 Top Things That Every Business Needs To Do:
1. Manage first impressions
2. Have knowledge and expertise - creates competence
3. Build rapport - communicate beyond your business
4. Enthusiasm - we need to be excited about what we do
5. Communication - ask the extra question and establish the expectation
6. Moment of misery - when something goes wrong - its the way you fix it
7. Quality at every turn
8. Under promise and over deliver
10. Thank you - show appreciation
We all know these things as business owners, but sometimes its the reminders that keep us on track.
Along with hard work and a firm commitment to leadership and engaging with our staff and people, an element of luck or being at the right place at the right time is only part of the equation.