By Steve Cerocke
There are plenty of rules in business and many paths to success, but if you don’t do the basic stuff really well, all of your other work and worries won’t matter.
Technology has provided the tools to do the basics better, faster and more precisely. But those tools are only tools and they require sophistication, user training and regular sharpening to do the job of running basic business functions and provide the data necessary to manage operations, sales and client satisfaction.
While the business basics have not changed, the tools, processes and speed to respond have changed. Business functions like sales, customer service and internal operations are all impacted by how well people communicate, track and deliver customer service, accurate information and timely communication. These are the business basics.
Customer service: This is the number one thing everyone should be doing really well. It is not easy and you will never get it right every time, but you should know when you fail and what success looks like. Technology can help by using surveys, monitoring social media and tracking how long it takes to deliver your product or service. Basic things like answering the phone, responding to emails and tracking clients are only possible when your technology toolkit is working. Of course you can’t rely just on the tools; people have to understand what customer service is. The best way to evaluate your customer service is to experience it either through the eyes of a customer or through someone trained to evaluate it.
Communication: When all components of your business are able to communicate effectively, quickly and clearly, the right kind of work can get done. The problem is that this level of communication requires processes to be put in place that create efficient workflows and the ability to measure them. We often say communication is the key to our business productivity, and to us that means having the technology toolkit to communicate internally as well as externally. Of course you need phones and email but connecting those to your software management software really completes the solution.
Information and business intelligence: At some point in every business’ life it becomes impossible for one or two people to have enough information to make sound decisions. If you are hoping to grow your business it will be critical to have the systems in place that give each level of your staff the information they need to make decisions. Without that level of sophistication it will be difficult to grow beyond a certain size as bad decisions are made or your key people are mired down in minutiae. Up-to-date business software for finance, customer management and process control will give you the business intelligence that is a key to growing and running a successful business.
When you are evaluating your technology, keep in mind the business basics and learn how the right technology, correctly applied, can help you reach your business goals.
Steve Cerocke, founder/president of IQ Systems Inc. of Reno, can be reached at 775-352-2301, ext. 1001, or firstname.lastname@example.org.