Do You Need to Shake It Up?

shake-it-upThere are issues which present themselves all the time in all business types and sizes. It does not make one bit of difference if you are a large publicly traded company, a medium sized company, a small retailer or a solo-preneur in a service based business.

Here are a few examples of issues that arise:

  • Complacency and doing either the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
  • Taking your customers and clients for granted
  • Trying to do too much and then not providing excellence in any one single thing

What is the action taken when these issues arise makes the difference, like what happened between Best Buy and Radio Shack. Another example is McDonald’s.

McDonald’s, The Golden Arches, an Internationally recognized brand in the fast food category. When McDonald’s opened a store on the Champes Elyses in Paris, France you would have thought the French felt Americans were going to poison their entire country’s food chain! In the last few years McDonald’s reported this one store to be one of the top stores in their International System!

McDonald’s used to be known for good burgers, served fast and top customer service. (Let’s not get caught up in our view of the fast food industry.)

Here is what is happening today.

McDonald’s has a bloated menu. Some items off of the long and confusing menu take up to seven minutes to deliver to the counter. This is a death sentence in the fast food industry. Jim Cramer on CNBC stated he thinks the menu at McDonald’s now is so complex he is fairly certain you need to be a Rhodes Scholar to work the register.  Compare that to Chipotle Mexican Grill where food ordered is typically on the counter in under 90 seconds.

McDonald’s has lost their way. They have moved off track from their roots.

Is there any similarity in this example to a business you know?

What does McDonald’s need to do?

Culture – Food Sourcing – Service

McDonald’s must focus on only three things. Be excellent at these three things every day.

Culture – cut through the bloated layers of management and slice out any layers and silos which are protecting their turf and not producing positively to these three areas. Visit every single location with this message – the food must taste great, be delivered quickly to the counter and with a smile. Create a McDonald’s culture within the company and stores where Culture – Food Sourcing – Service are top of mind and behavior.

Food Sourcing – no one wants to eat a cardboard burger slathered with special sauce on a cotton ball bun. Really look at where the food is being sourced from and the make up of every single menu item. Where is it possible to source food locally? Taste test in the market place extensively. Cut the menu down drastically. This should not take years to do.

Service – dancing with random customers is not the type of service fast food customers want, need or expect at a fast food location. This is not an Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Go back to basics. Welcome each person with a smile. Mom or Dad might be paying right now. Don’t ignore Junior as he may be one of your best customers in the future. Smile as you take the order and repeat everything for confirmation. When the food is delivered ask if they want or need anything else for the third time. Smile and say “Enjoy your meal!”

A huge business like McDonald’s reels back in to focus using three specific actions. They do this and their brand and their business will turnaround.

Where in your business are there three specific actions to focus on and be excellent in?

Mitch Tublin is a business consultant, executive coach and professional speaker on leadership and communications based in Stamford, CT.

It Is Guaranteed!

guaranteedWith the start of the professional Major League Baseball season, you begin to hear the predictions from ESPN and their sportscasters, sports writers and of course the team owners and the players. When it is the end of the season only the winners and their predictions and guarantees are heard from. Those that did not perform to the expectations or the other side gets any press.

This is completely different out in the real world of selling, providing goods, materials and services. If everyone wins and everything goes well, often we hear nothing. We may obtain a testimonial or a great review on Yelp! Or another online reviewer and possibly a referral or two (which is really the best thank you of all!).  Not much else.

However, if we do not hit a home run; if for some reason our product is faulty; if the customer is not satisfied with our service, we hear about it! We want to hear about it. Now we must quickly handle the situation.

Here is the question: what is your guarantee and how do you fulfill your guarantee?

A few areas to consider as you may find you are in one of these categories:

Selling a Physical Product

You sell a physical product. The product is either defective or is broken quickly after the customer purchases the product. What is your guarantee?

Selling an Edible Item

You sell a food, drink, snack or other edible product. The item either does not taste up to expectations, arrives open at the store or is for some reason not right in the customer’s hands after purchase. What is your guarantee?

Selling a Professional Service

You sell a Professional Service such as legal, accounting or business coaching. The client feels unsatisfied after working with you for a period of time. What is your guarantee?

Take a moment and comment for your area of expertise and discuss – What is your guarantee?

From my point of view in the first situation the majority of the time you would offer to refund or replace the item within a defined period of time with the full packaging and the store receipt. In the second case it is a bit trickier as to replace the item might not be a good solution. If the package was opened then yes replacement of the item is called for.

In the third case many professional service providers have a defined process where a review or discussion takes place and the issues are determined. Often it is a matter of conducting more effective communication with each other. Many professional service providers will add in either extra bonus hours or meetings or other deliverables to maintain a good relationship with their client.

How about you? What is your guarantee?

Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.