Your Systems Should Contain Heart and Logic
At Benchmark Business Group we often discuss the importance of documenting and capturing the logic of how you do what you do within your business. The importance of creating systems, policies and procedures, and operating manuals.
We know that capturing the “how” to run your business makes it easier to manage on a day-to-day basis and when the day comes that you want to sell your business, having this logic documented makes the business more attractive to buyers.
Yet, we never lose sight that documenting the logic and capturing the “how” work is done isn’t the whole story. Your team could follow a step-by-step documented system and end up with a customer or prospect who isn’t “wowed” by the experience. Or worse, not even “fine” with the experience.
This brings us to the heart of the business. The experience for your prospects and clients is important. You can do all the right things, but they may walk away “fine,” or worse, the systems are not working the way you intend them to.
This is often the criticism that we hear when we discuss systems, policies, and operating manuals. Businesses become afraid of being too robotic and lose the special touches that create a unique experience with their clients and prospects.
However, it’s the exact opposite of what systems are meant to do! Your systems should not just be about logic. They should also be about the heart. They should be about creating the experience that you want your clients and prospects to have when they interact with your company.
The heart of the experience should be considered not only with face-to-face interactions or phone calls, but it should also be considered with every touch that your business has with prospects or clients. For instance, what experience should someone have when:
- They receive a quote?
- They have a past due bill?
- They haven’t done business with you in a long time?
- They say no to an opportunity?
- They have a complaint?
- They send you a lead?
To build heart into your systems you first must understand the experience that you want your clients and prospects to have when they interact with your business. We like to use the Customer Service Promise to define that experience.
Once defined, the Customer Service Promise is a powerful tool. It can be reviewed when your systems are being written and used as a guideline to ask, “Does this system ensure that we fulfill our promise?”
It can also be used to inspire your team to step up and take ownership of the results. If they know and live the Customer Service Promise, then when a system isn’t getting the result of the promise, they can be empowered to take action.
Systems are not foolproof. There will be times when they don’t work for “this” client or prospect. Even times when they are outdated. In order to achieve results, you don’t want your team to make hasty decisions, but you do want them to take action when they realize the result of following a system is not in line with the heart of the business.