Thursday, 24 July, 2008 12:58 PM
How Your Company
CAN Survive This Recession
courtesy of farm1.static.flickr.com
store that is going out of business.
Springs, CO – The recent economic downturn looks
to be claiming its first corporate victims. Among the list of once
strong retailers scurrying for bankruptcy protection are industry
giants Linens ‘n Things, Bombay Company, Sharper Image and
Steve & Barry’s. This raises a frightening question: can
your company make it through?
“Absolutely," says Dr. Tom DeCotiis, author of the new
book "Make it Glow" (Greenleaf Book Group Press 2008).
"In a down economy people focus their spending on companies
they trust. As consumers get choosy, mediocre choices fall by the
wayside for one reason: These companies have not earned enough customer
loyalty to survive a challenging economy."
Here are Dr. DeCotiis’ 5 essential tips to propel your company
through this recession and prepare for even more success:
1) Focus Your Employees on Creating Positive Customer Transactions.
Insist that your employees provide a great experience every time
and teach them how to do it. Train every employee in proper customer
service procedures and ensure they clearly understand the importance
of the customer to the company's, and their own, survival. In difficult
times, companies do not get a second chance to make a good impression
on their customers.
2) Ensure Your Customer Feels Valued. Customers need to valued,
not just for their money, but for who they are. In order to do this,
make sure that your company is addressing your customers' need for
a strong sense of belonging and significance. For example, make
sure that your staff is positive and proactive with complaints rather
than negative and reactive.
3) Set Your Customers Expectations. It is not a matter of exceeding
customer expectations, but guaranteeing that your customers are
never disappointed. Use your company's unique selling point (USP)
to shape your customer's expectations. Saks Fifth Avenue sell their
consumers on their exclusive and elegant shopping experience, and
when customers go into their retail outlets they are not disappointed.
4) Ensure That Your Employees Understand Your Company's Values.
People are drawn to integrity whether it comes from another person
or a company they buy from. If your employees understand what your
company stands for and is trying to accomplish, then they will accomplish
it. This is important to remember as owners train managers who train
employees and so on. The result of this communication chain is a
lack of consistency and alignment with the original values of the
company. Spot check different locations of your business with "secret
shoppers", people posing as customers who will report to you
their experiences. This will tell you exactly how your company's
values are being adhered to.
5) Evaluate How Cutting Costs Will Affect Your Customer. There is
a big difference between cutting and managing costs. What you never
want to do is cut quality. A company lives or dies by its reputation,
and quality is at least one-third of its reputation.
“Focus on keeping your company worthy of your customers' loyalty,"
says Dr. DeCotiis. "If you do, then you will propel your business
through this downturn and create a solid foundation from which to
grow in the future.”
About Dr. Tom DeCotiis
Dr. Tom DeCotiis was part of the team that put together the strategies
for the startups for Boston Chicken, Outback Steakhouse, Blockbuster
Video and the new strategy for the United Way. Dr. DeCotiis is a
co-founder of CorVirtus, a company formed in 1985 to provide high-level,
specialized consulting distinguished by values-based and vision-directed
strategies to international companies. Dr. DeCotiis received his
Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from the University
of Wisconsin, Madison in 1974. He joined the faculty of Cornell
University before moving to the University of South Carolina, College
of Business in 1980. Dr. DeCotiis' work has been published extensively
in academic journals including the Journal of Organizational Effectiveness,
The Academy of Management Journal, and Personnel Psychology. “Make
It Glow; How To Build a Company Reputation for Human Goodness, Flawless
Execution and Being Best-In-Class” is his first book. He is
currently working on a manuscript for practitioners entitled Connecting
the Dots: From Brand Creation to Implementation.
Source: News and Experts