OUR business - any business
- needs two classes of people to survive, let alone thrive.
Without them you don't have a business.
This brings us to problem number one. Motivating them and keeping them
motivated. Unless you can keep both groups enthusiastic about your business
- in different ways, of course - you might as well shut up shot.
With the foolishness of youth, I once aspired to a life in the limelight. I
wanted to be an actor. Under the influence of The Method, I remember
agonising over the motivation for my small part in some obscure play. So I
asked the director, whose name I've forgotten: "What motivates my movement
in this scene? Just why do I cross the stage?
"To pick up your pay cheque," he told me.
Although money certainly plays an important role in motivation, it isn't the
Let's first look at the staff scene. Some companies recruit employees'
spouses to boost motivation. Adopting a management theory that a man will be
a better worker if he has an understanding wife, one South African company
(which shall remain nameless) not only invited the better halves to its
sales convention, but emphasised their importance to the cause.
In his address to the delegates and their partners, the managing director
dwelt on what he called "that great energiser, that great harbinger of
motivation: encouragement". To underscore his point, he singled out a cute
and shapely blonde in the audience.
"Tell me," he asked, "how do you encourage your husband?"
Flustered at becoming the focal point of attention without warning, blushed
and stammered: "Oh, I couldn't. Not in front of all these people."
Although this method may sound okay in theory, it has a built-in potential
for embarrassment. And disaster. There is a better way: a new resource that
will help you motivate the members of your staff and keep them motivated.
The Whole Works.
This book recognises that you need a high level of staff motivation to keep
your department running like clockwork ... to give your organisation a real
competitive edge. Essentially, it's a hands-on guide to improving morale,
motivation and productivity in your department. It's filled with the
information that you'll need to find, train, motivate and keep good
Whether you're looking for simple, inexpensive ideas that you can use right
away or comprehensive long-range plans, you'll find them in The Whole Works,
in which I bring together, update and augment all the essentials from my
previous three best-sellers, I Was Your Customer, Look Out and Passion Makes
Perfect. In its pages, you'll learn:
how to hire the right people - you can never motivate the wrong
how to make front-line jobs more interesting, challenging and
rewarding with hundreds of practical ideas from service leaders;
how empowerment programmes and team approaches can improve motivation,
and whether or not they're right for your company, and
the pros and cons of motivating with money, recognition programmes,
contests and just good old-fashioned fun.
When you have your highly motivated staff in place, you need customers -
fickle people who'll love you and give you loyal support for as long as you
give them what they want, when they want it and how they want it. The
problem: they don't often know what they want, when they want it or how the
want. And, unless you make yourself fully conversant and stringently apply
all the principles of world class customer service, it'll be your fault.
Then, suddenly, all those lovely folks who flocked to your door ready and
eager to exchange hard cash for whatever you vend have moved to perceived
greener pastures in the business next door.
Have you ever paused in your daily labour to wonder why these folks, who you
reckon you busted a gut to please, don't buy from you anymore? Surveys - and
there have been plenty of them - all tell the same story:
14% of customers leave because their complaints weren't satisfactorily
9% leave because of competitive activity;
9% leave because they've relocated their businesses or homes, and
68% leave for not ascertainable reason
Hang on a second. Let's look at that last point again. To paraphrase it
slightly, about seven out of 10 customers, who used to buy from you, left
for no special reason.
Do you really believe that?
There was a reason or a series of reasons those seven out of 10 customers
became your ex-customers. They left because:
you never told them that you cared or that they were important to you;
you never said "thank you" and "please come back and buy from us
every time they enter your store business premises, your employees
were too busy to take care of them,
And so on.
Customers don't leave for "no special reason". We leave because you give us
a reason. We leave because we're dissatisfied. More often than not, as a
dissatisfied customer, I don't say anything. I never complain.
I just never return.
Want to get me back? You'll have to turn on the charm, and a lot more.
You'll have to bend over backwards to motivate my return. In The Whole
Works, I'll show you how to win back my affection. I'll also show you how to
retain the on-going loyalty of your present customers.
I'm not promising you an easy passage. You'll have to work - and work hard -
to build up a successful business by providing world class customer service.
As Longfellow so eloquently put it:
"The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight
But they, while their companions slept,
Were tolling upward in the night."
I wish you all great good fortune in the journey ahead.