PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

YOU WILL NEVER KNOW IF YOU DON’T ASK

YOU WILL NEVER KNOW IF YOU DON’T ASK
Your most important task in your business is to attract and retain customers. Second most important task is to attract and retain great employees. You need a great product or service and a great value proposition to have loyal customers. The same is true for your employees. You must have a great employee value proposition. You are never going to learn the truth about your value proposition if you don’t ask. There are some organizations that never ask their customers or staff how the company is doing. Fear of hearing bad news will not make the bad news go away. However, it appears that many companies are just not comfortable asking the ultimate question, “How are we doing?” The reason that we know that companies are not interested in knowing how they are doing can be found in a Gallup survey. According to Gallup around 30% of employees are engaged at...
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FRESH EYES FOR YOUR WESTCHESTER NY BUSINESS

FRESH EYES FOR YOUR WESTCHESTER NY BUSINESS
Do you see your Westchester County NY business the way that others do? You have been working in your business for a long time. Many times, when you see something every day you stop noticing. Does that make sense? For example, when you started your business you were focused on how you were going to get customers and what resources you would need to deliver the products and services to those customers. That might have been 2 years ago, 5 years ago or even 10 or more years ago. But you say, “I’m ok now because I have my routine set and it works without me thinking about it.” Here are two questions to ask yourself. Has a new team member joined and pointed out things you didn’t see? Have you had any suggestions or complaints by customers? Sometimes a person with a fresh set of eyes is needed to point...
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LOYAL CUSTOMERS WILL LEAD TO FUTURE GROWTH

LOYAL CUSTOMERS WILL LEAD TO FUTURE GROWTH
A very important leading indicator is your loyal customer base. If it is growing the you can expect your sales to grow too. Peter Ducker said that the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer. Have you included goals for customer loyalty scores in your strategic plan?  Creating a customer is done through a clear message and marketing but keeping a customer is based on performance . Don’t spend all your time on marketing for new customers while neglecting your current customers. A loyal current customer is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing. A company that says it separates itself from others by service usually does not know what that really means. As an example, it seems that most businesses are focusing on customer satisfaction to determine their customer service measurements. This measurement is flawed and often falls short of actionable expectations. Companies also make a...
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LOYAL CUSTOMERS EQUAL BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY

LOYAL CUSTOMERS EQUAL BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY
The best measure of business success is the loyalty of our clients. People do not buy what you sell. They buy you. If they truly buy us they are a loyal customer. Nothing is more important to a business than a loyal customer. You can be making a lot of sales and have a good income, but you will not have that for long if you don’t have loyal customers. Peter Drucker said the main reason for a business is to attract and retain customers. What is the best way to have a steady stream of loyal customers?   Under promise and over deliver. Customers generally have a level of expectation when they engage our services. It is important that we manage those expectations by being truthful about our procedures, deadlines, and outcomes. Failure to meet expectations of our customers will result in a lost customer. Doing exactly what we say will...
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ONE WAY TO SPELL SUCCESS IN BUSINESS

ONE WAY TO SPELL SUCCESS IN BUSINESS
Having your organization aligned is just as important as having the wheels on your car aligned. In both cases mis alignment creates disastrous results. The reason for non-alignment in the business is a lack of clear vision and without a clear vision everyone is on a different page. While that is personally frustrating it can cost your company good employees and customers. If you want to change that then be ready to change three areas involving your business. Here they are: Let’s start with the focused leader. You may be the owner, the manager, or CEO but that does not mean you are the leader. You appoint yourself CEO, but your team will follow you if you are the leader.   As managers we can influence the process through which people recognize our leadership by creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose of what they...
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LISTEN TO WHAT YOUR STAFF AND CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING

LISTEN TO WHAT YOUR STAFF AND CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING
Do you want to learn the truth? There are some organizations that never ask their staff how the company is doing. But fear of hearing bad news will not make the bad news go away. Ignorance is not bliss although it appears to that many companies are just not comfortable asking the ultimate question, “How are we doing?” It is easier for companies with retention problems, for example, to focus on compensation issues. But, according to Gallup around 30% of employees are engaged at work. That means that 70% are not engaged in their jobs at your company. Recently Gallup released a new survey on employee engagement. When I read the commentary, I could see that engagement is not static information but depends on company, employees, and time. There is a take away and that is that we can’t make a universal supposition of what engages people. Instead, we need to...
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THREE STEPS TO TURN YOUR BUSINESS INTO A LARGE SUCCESS IN 2018

THREE STEPS TO TURN YOUR BUSINESS INTO A LARGE SUCCESS IN 2018
Small business is poised to generate many new jobs in 2018.   We need small business to grow our economy and will need local small business.   I have had the pleasure over seeing many small businesses grow in the last years and expect more in Westchester County New York in 2018. While it is true that today’s business environment can seem somewhat volatile there have also been many more opportunities with the growth in the economy.   While I don’t want to oversimplify I believe that small business owners can leverage success by following the suggestions in the three following steps. Step 1 – Think Strategically then follow through. When you think strategically you work ON your business rather than IN your business.   You are future focused.   You decide where you want to take your business now and in the future whether it is in 5 years, 10...
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UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIVER EQUALS RAVING FANS

UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIVER EQUALS RAVING FANS
Regardless of what we sell we are all really in a service business. People do not buy what we sell. They buy us. If they truly buy us they are a loyal customer. Nothing is more important to a business than a loyal customer. You can be making a lot of sales and have a good income but you will not have that for long if you don’t have loyal customers. What is the best way to have a steady stream of loyal customers?   Under promise and over deliver. Customers generally have a level of expectation when they engage our services. It is important that we manage those expectations by being truthful about our procedures, deadlines, and outcomes. Failure to meet expectations of our customers will result in a lost customer. Doing exactly what we say will satisfy our customer but little more. They got what they expected but no more....
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HOW TO DEVELOP A LOYAL CUSTOMER BASE

HOW TO DEVELOP A LOYAL CUSTOMER BASE
HOW TO DEVELOP A LOYAL CUSTOMER BASE Peter Drucker said that the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer. It is really that simple. Creating a customer is done through a clear message and marketing but keeping a customer is based on performance. There are not enough businesses that reason focus on what works to retain a customer. A company that says it separates itself from others by service usually does not know what that really means. As an example it seems that the majority of businesses are focusing on customer satisfaction to determine their customer service measurements. This measurement is flawed and often falls short of actionable expectations. Companies also make a mistake in the method of measuring the voice of their customer. Asking people to write a rating on social media is MARKETING not measurement. Measurement is consistent, private, and asks for the good, the bad,...
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ARE WE ALL RUNNING IN THE SAME DIRECTION?

ARE WE ALL RUNNING IN THE SAME DIRECTION?
Are you running as fast as you can but finding that no one is following you? Worse than that, are they running the other way? C , that you empower your engaged employees , that they will in turn create loyal customers leading to growth and success. Focused Leader - You may be the owner, the manager, or CEO but that does not mean you are seen as the leader. You appoint yourself CEO but your team will follow you if you are the leader.   As leader you will create vision, model behavior and inspire results. With your inspiration people recognize your leadership. You will be creating an environment where people will join your team. They see the purpose of what they are supposed to do and understand the vision as well as the values of the organization for which they work. Today’s fast-moving business environment demands that the effective leader...
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ACKNOWLEDGING THE TRUTH IS THE FIRST STEP TO IMPROVEMENT

ACKNOWLEDGING THE TRUTH IS THE FIRST STEP TO IMPROVEMENT
“How am I doing?” Those of you living in New York City might remember when Mayor Koch used to ask his constituents that question. Asking that question with your business is very powerful because tells your employees and your customers that they matter. That they matter is an understatement. First of all, exceeding your customer’s expectations is essential to creating loyal customers and increasing your customer base. In order to have loyal customers you need to have engaged and loyal employees and you need to know things are working. You want the truth? “You can’t handle the truth!” This well-known line was uttered by Jack Nicholson in the move, A Few Good Men. Do you think there might be some truth in that statement? That appears to be the case in many organizations. It is just not comfortable to ask too many questions. It is easier for companies with retention problems,...
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WHEN YOU OVER DELIVER YOU CREATE LOYAL CUSTOMERS

WHEN YOU OVER DELIVER YOU CREATE LOYAL CUSTOMERS
People remember when they have been wowed in their experience with your company. What is the difference between average and being wowed? To wow your customer you must exceed their expectations. When you wow your customer by exceeding expectations your customer creates an emotional bond with your company and your services. They become loyal customers. But there is more to this. Sometimes you will disappoint a customer. No one is perfect but how well you react to make it right can create an even bigger emotional bond. Here is the way one of my Westchester County Businesses handled critical customer situation. They are an HVAC provider. There had been a spike in temperatures in our area causing an unusually large number of air conditioning units to fail. The company received a large number of calls and the service team was working overtime. They were honest in telling clients that they could...
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WHAT IS A LEADING SUCCESS INDICATOR FOR MY COMPANY?

WHAT IS A LEADING SUCCESS INDICATOR FOR MY COMPANY?
A leading indicator for company success is not profit. That may sound counter intuitive. To quote investment company advertisements, “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” A leading indicator would show current business conditions which would lead to continued success. Two very important measurements are employee engagement and customer loyalty. While sales and profits are very important measurements they tell you what has happened. Employee engagement and customer loyalty tells you what will happen. When you have engaged employees they will do their best work which will result in loyal customers. You should measure your employees’ engagement at least once per year. The ultimate employee question is, “How likely are you to recommend our company as a place to work?” When you have highly engaged employees you have promoters of your workplace. When you exceed the customer's expectations and create an emotional bond with your customer they become your promoter....
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IF THEY DON’T FOLLOW YOU ARE NOT LEADING

IF THEY DON’T FOLLOW YOU ARE NOT LEADING
The reason that a group of employees is not achieving desired outcomes is usually traced back to the leadership. That’s right. If all of the students fail the exam might the fault be with the teaching? Like students you and your staff may not be on the same page. While that is personally frustrating how much money is that costing you? You can change that. Here’s how. Become a focused leader who empowers engaged employees who in turn create loyal customers leading to growth and success. Let’s start with the focused leader. You may have the title of manager but that does not mean you are seen as the leader. As managers we can influence the process through which people recognize our leadership by creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose of what they are supposed to do and understand the vision, the “big...
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DEVELOP LOYAL CUSTOMERS BY MANAGING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS

DEVELOP LOYAL CUSTOMERS BY MANAGING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS
The easiest way to lose trust with your customer is by making promises you cannot keep. No one wants to intentionally lie but frankly many people in sales are not completely truthful with their clients. Why? The biggest excuse I hear is that they are afraid to be negative with their client. They think that if they don’t tell the client what they think the client wants to hear then that client or prospect will go somewhere else. That might be true in some cases but wouldn’t you rather be the salesperson who exceeds your customers’ expectations rather the one that disappoints the customer? A skilled salesperson knows how to manage the customer’s expectations and then over deliver on those expectations. No one likes to say no. You want to say yes to everything so that you customer will decide to go with you and your product or service. You really...
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HOW A COMPANY CREATES AND MAINTAINS LOYAL CUSTOMERS IN BRIARCLIFF MANOR NY

HOW A COMPANY CREATES AND MAINTAINS LOYAL CUSTOMERS IN BRIARCLIFF MANOR NY
As a business owner wouldn’t you agree that the main purpose of a business is to attract and maintain customers? If that is true then managing and measuring the voice of your customer becomes one of your most important functions. A customer service focused business will make certain that its customers get what they want and come back for more. That is critically important to the long-term success your Westchester County business. All factors that impact negatively on the customer, (unfriendly policies, inappropriate response time, untrained employees, etc.) must be identified and corrected if you wish to compete effectively and profitably now and in the future. The success of your business depends upon building and anticipating the future. Your current sales and profit are NOT indicators for the future. They tell what is happening now. The true indicator of future success is measured through your customers’ emotional attachment to your brand....
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INNOVATION IN THE EYES OF YOUR CUSTOMER

INNOVATION IN THE EYES OF YOUR CUSTOMER
Having a unique value proposition will differentiate you from your competition. Most people are at a loss to really articulate their unique value proposition. Many companies say that their service is what sets them apart from their competition. They will say, “Our Service is what sets us apart. We give great customer service.” If that is your answer I would ask you to think about that. Doesn’t everyone claim to give great service? What is unique about yours? You really need to go a step above that by exceeding your customers’ expectations. One way to do that is create a product, a service or an experience that is innovative in your customers’ eyes. What would really wow your customers? Steve Jobs achieved that wow when he created the iPhone, an invention that was less of a phone than something holding most of our needs that we can carry anywhere. According to...
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DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE WILL IMPROVE YOUR ROI

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE WILL IMPROVE YOUR ROI
Would you agree that having an engaged and motivated workforce is good for your business? If you answered yes I would ask you what you are doing to engage your staff and get more success for everyone. Let’s face it; people do business with people that they trust. In addition, employees want to work for people that they trust. Engaged employees will create more success and lead to more loyal customers. Diversity and Inclusion is really all about engaging employees and customers for more success. In a previous blog BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP BY MANAGING DIFFERENCES I addressed generational differences which is one subset of diversity and inclusion. Why do you and your company want to embrace diversity? Most would answer that would do it because it is right. But here is an ROI. You will get more business and more customers. Gaining loyal customers and engaged employees is built on...
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ARE YOU AND YOUR STAFF ON THE SAME PAGE?

ARE YOU AND YOUR STAFF ON THE SAME PAGE?
Do you ever wonder why you are taking a course of action, asking your staff to follow then turning and finding no one there?  The reason for this could be that you and your staff are not on the same page?  While that is personally frustrating how much money is that costing you? You can change that.  Here’s how.  Become a focused leader who empowers engaged employees who in turn create loyal customers leading to growth and success .  Let’s start with the focused leader.   You may be the owner, the manager, or CEO but that does not mean you are seen as the leader.  You appoint yourself CEO but your team will follow you if you are the leader.   As managers we can influence the process through which people recognize our leadership by creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose of what...
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UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIVER - KEYS TO GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE

UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIVER - KEYS TO GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE
Regardless of what we sell we are all really in a service business.  People do not buy what we sell.  They buy us.  If they truly buy you then they are a loyal customer.  Nothing is more important to a business than a loyal customer.  You can be making a lot of sales and have a good income but you will not have that for long if you don’t have loyal customers. What is the best way to have a steady stream of loyal customers?   Under promise and over deliver.  Exceed your customers' expectations.   Here is an experience that I just had. Due to a spike in temperature in the Northeast this week my central AC was working overtime.  I realized on Thursday evening that the system was not cooling.  I called the after-hours number at my HVAC provider.  The person at the other end told me that the service...
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