Is there a silent assassin destroying your business?

You are a leading consumer business. You spend large sums of money on your brand. It sets an expectation with your customers of what it will be like to buy from you. However, in most consumer businesses there is an assassin at work – with the potential to destroy both your brand and your reputation with your customers. How many times does this assassin strike in your business every day? How often is your brand expectation undermined?

The problem is that this assassin is rarely seen and when it is, it is rarely identified as an assassin. It therefore plies its trade without anyone noticing. Before long, customers are disenfranchised, business results are impacted and the finger is pointed at all the usual suspects – product, promotion, pricing etc. But no! You have missed it – the real culprit has got away and will rear its head again tomorrow and everyday until it is confronted and dealt with. So who or what is the culprit? What does this assassin look like?

The answer is mediocrity – or to be more specific, mediocre or average service. This is different to bad service. People may complain about bad service. You can therefore identify it and deal with it. It is usually more obvious. But mediocre service is a different proposition altogether. It is not bad enough to complain about. No-one hears about it. It goes unnoticed. This assassin plies its trade every time someone interacts with your business and gets mediocre service – which typically is more often than not. The result is that your customers’ expectation of service is not met. It doesn’t matter what brand expectation you are setting. The overriding impression people will have of your business is one of mediocrity.

So what is the problem? Why does this happen time and time again across the country every day?  It is not that the sales or customer service person doesn’t know how to be welcoming, attentive, treat people as they would like to be treated themselves etc. They can all do it. Everyone can. But for some reason they don’t do it on a consistent basis. Sure, most businesses train their people in customer service. However, it doesn’t appear to have the desired effect!  Why not? Research shows 68% of people are going elsewhere because of the attitude and indifference of the people serving them. It is therefore imperative to address this issue of attitude. However, it is not possible to ‘teach’ someone to have the right attitude. Attitude is a choice and everyone has the capacity for making that choice. The key is getting front line people to make that choice time and time again. Think about the dramatic impact on business results if they could do it more?

How long before you get wise to the silent assassin in your business?