After you have your plan in place, you can start focusing on building an excellent team.
Hiring the right people is critical to the success of any business. In all but the smallest businesses your employees will have frequent interaction with your customers. No matter how hard you personally work at creating a great experience for your customers, your employees are the face of the company too. Their interaction with your customers will always have a significant impact on how your customers perceive your business. (see A Tale of Two Breakfasts blog for an example.)
How do you find the right people who will represent your business’s goals in the most appropriate way?
Your starting point is to define what specific problem you are trying to solve for your customers and how your business is going to solve this problem for them. We’ve run through this before – by now, it should be easy. How will your business relate to your customer while solving their problem? Once you have an answer, you can better hire employees to fill in the blanks. You look for people who have a similar way of approaching customers and you train them on the details – how to do things exactly as you like them.
Once your employees understand what it is you are trying to accomplish, it becomes a matter of providing the necessary tools to do these things. In building an effective employee, we like to use a three step guide:
- Make sure the employees are crystal clear as to what is expected of them at work
- Ensure they have the equipment and support necessary to fulfill those expectations
- Be generous with appropriate recognition and praise for the work that they perform
John Jantsch, in his excellent book The Referral Engine describes the process this way: “The company takes care of the staff, the staff takes care of the customer, and the customer takes care of the business.”