Benchmark Business Group

When Systems Work

June 19, 2018

Most small businesses pride themselves on customer service. In fact, when we talk to most financial services professionals they note that exceptional customer service is one element that sets their business apart from the competition.

At the same time, one of the statistics from Help Scout states that 80% of companies estimate they have exceptional customer service, while only 8% of clients report that they have received exceptional service.

That's a huge disconnect between the service business owners believe they are delivering and what clients believe they are receiving.

So, as your business grows, how can you ensure that your clients receive exceptional service on a consistent basis?

The answer isn't the most glamorous one or the most groundbreaking. Rather, the answer is predictable and proven.

You can call the answer systems, work processes, or even standard operating processes. Regardless of the name you choose, systems are the proven method to achieving exceptional customer service.

Yes, you have to have the right people in place to execute the systems, but the problem with people is that we make mistakes. We get distracted. We forget. It's not always on purpose; in fact, it's often not on purpose.

Well-designed systems allow your team to be successful no matter what kind of distractions or issues they encounter and to be trained faster. So why don't more financial services professionals rely on systems in their business? Why aren't checklists, forms, scripts, and other tools more prevalent? Why does it take most financial services professionals months to get a new service associate trained to the point that they don't need daily supervision?

There are four myths we often hear that prevent agencies from using systems:
 
  • Systems are complicated - They don't have to be complicated. You can design systems to be simple. If your systems are too complicated it means there is more work to be done. Complicated systems don't get used, but well-designed systems become seen as useful by your team.
  • It takes too much time - Yes, it DOES takes time to design and develop good systems, but it's really an investment of time that an Agency will see a huge return on. Systems cut down on training time, they stop unnecessary questions, they prevent having to redo work, and allow your team to pick up where they left off after an interruption.
  • Systems are robotic - When designed to be, systems can seem robotic. Especially if your team doesn't have practice using them, but it's not the system. It's the design and delivery of the systems that need the work. Systems cannot be disconnected from the why of your business. Well-designed systems include the why and the logic.
  • They don't work...in our industry - We've coached hundreds of businesses within the financial services industry, and outside of this industry, and, truthfully, we haven't seen one company that wouldn't benefit from systems. With simple tasks, systems ensure that steps aren't skipped or forgotten when there are distractions. With complicated tasks that require experience and knowledge, systems help transfer knowledge from experienced team members to less-experienced members.
The truth is, systems free up your team and set them up to be successful. When your team can stop worrying about the routine work, they are free to work on more complicated issues that arise. Systems allow your team the ability to grow, learn, and ultimately take ownership of their positions. 
 
The key is being able to DESIGN the systems to work, and we can help with that.

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