Sometimes, when confronted with a scenario in business that is unfamiliar, we freeze as we try and think through the scenario and compute all of the possible options.
Unfortunately for us, when a situation is outside our normal parameters, we sometimes cannot adjust quickly enough and end up like the Rodin Statue in Night at the Museum Part 2, who, when asked a question, gets stuck and can only answer, “I’m thinking…I’m thinking…I’m thinking…I’m thinking…I’m thinking…”
Funny stuff in a Ben Stiller movie, but not so great for real life business, especially when Customers are involved.
What can we do, then, when we are in such a situation?
While no operations or training manual can truly cover all of the possible issue a business will encounter (if you think your business has such a manual, email me, I have some scenarios I think you may have overlooked! And no, not Big Foot entering the store or aliens invading…I know some businesses already have contingency plans for that), it is possible to train our employees to follow certain basic rules and improvise from there.
1 – Live by the mantra, “The Customer Comes First”. Whatever the situation, the outcome should revolve around the Customer.
2 – Establish limits under which employees can react to a situation on their own. Set dollar limits or policies that give them a specific latitude to address Customer issues, or any type of business scenario. And empower them to do so!
3 – Set up a clear escalation process for when the parameters are breached. Employees need an avenue for immediate response when they need help.
These are just some suggestions, I would love to hear more of them.
Thanks for reading, now let’s get thinking!