Increase Satisfaction and Your Bottom Line in 2015

February 2nd, 2015 Cathy Rottinghaus

It’s February and you are busy gathering information to close out your books and file your tax return. Most small business owners and managers are doing the same. It’s likely you’re reviewing last year’s activities, going over numbers and thinking about how to make 2015 even better than 2014.

While these tasks are important, they can draw managers away from their true role as leaders and visionaries who are responsible for the future of the company, its employees, and clients.

The early part of the year is a good time to recognize what you’ve accomplished and what you’d like to achieve with your company’s short- and long-term business goals. Too often, business owners only look at their bottom line and don’t pay enough attention to the challenging-to-measure intangibles that drive their success.

Developing and maintaining a corporate culture that focuses on the satisfaction and expectations of your customers and employees will ultimately boost your bottom line.

A big improvement

Customer and employee satisfaction are keys to the success of any company. Satisfaction is a leading factor in managing your costs, maintaining quality production and increasing the lifetime value of any business relationship. Employee and client satisfaction play a major part in your business costs and growth. When satisfaction levels of employees and clients improve, you can significantly improve your bottom line. You will ultimately increase the return on your investment while following the “golden” rule.

Creating a great work environment and business culture isn’t about casual Fridays, going green or buying exercise equipment – it’s about how you value your relationships and how you treat the people with whom you interact.

Investments in policies, procedures, training or other activities focused on creating more job satisfaction can benefit your company in many ways. Besides reducing turnover and hiring expenses, retaining satisfied and loyal employees will have a positive impact on sales and service – and create greater customer satisfaction.

Good customer service is no longer enough in this global economy. Great is what you’re aiming for. Go above and beyond what you think needs to be done. Get to know your customers and follow up with them to make sure they are happy with the product or service they purchased from you. You must differentiate your products and services when clients have so many choices readily available and accessible.

Now is the time to shine!

Dedicate more time to develop a corporate culture. Create service standards that will exceed the expectations of your staff and customers. Give them something to get excited about. Make it easy for them to find the reason why they enjoy spending time at your business. It’s the simple things you do that make the biggest difference.

Listen to your sales team and customers. Provide solid training. And, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be friendly and approachable – you can always hear a smile through the phone!
  • Meet clients face-to-face whenever possible – it helps build and strengthen relationships.
  • Let the client do the talking – your job is to listen to needs and wants.
  • Respond promptly – even if it’s simply letting the customer know you are “working on it” – and keep your promises!
  • Own your problems − avoid passing a client from person to person whenever possible.
  • Show you care. Hand-written notes or birthday cards are great ways to express thanks and earn referrals.
  • Anticipate client needs and go out of your way for them. Add value and create loyalty!

Make use of a strong and successful mission statement dedicated to high employee and customer satisfaction. It can increase returns and separate your company from the competition. And, you may build some solid relationships, along the way. Don’t just make it a goal. Make it happen in 2015!

About the author

Cathy Rottinghaus is Vice President of Commercial/Ag Banking for MidWestOne Bank.

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