By Dawn Shuler
I recently had some issues with a business who was providing a service for me. I couldn’t get my messages through: no one responded to my emails or my voice mails. What I found out later was that a former employee had done some damage as she left the company, and the staff was dealing with repeated fires. They didn’t have time to deal with me. (And that’s another system to talk about another day.)
So, lots of issues, lots of holes, lots of missing or broken systems.
And all of it can be repaired.
As I put my systems-and-processes hat on (well, to be honest, I never really take it off), I realize there are four steps to creating success and preventing many issues. It doesn’t mean issues will never come up if you implement these four steps, but many will be prevented, and you are much more likely to see success if you’re clear in every step.
Let’s look at two scenarios: employee performance and a marketing campaign.
Example #1: Employee Performance
Step 1: Identify the job to be done. What is the job description?
Step 2: Detail how that job needs to be done. How does the employee need to do his job?
Step 3: Have measurable deliverables in place so that you know the job is being done and being done well. This means whatever you wrote in Step 2 needs to be clear and specific enough so that it can be measured, and then you need to actually measure it.
Step 4: Check in with and evaluate the employee regularly, and review with him deliverables. Recommend any improvements necessary. Tweak job description, details, and measurements, if necessary.
So if you’re looking at customer service, for example, the job description is Customer Service Representative. The details of that job include answering customer emails within four hours and phone calls within one hour. If emails or phone calls come at 4:00pm in the business day, then they need to be returned by 10:00am the next business day.
How will you know that the job is being done well? Recordings of phone calls randomly reviewed (you know you’ve heard it… “This call may be monitored for quality purposes…”). Emails randomly reviewed. Any customer service complaints logged and analyzed for any holes in the customer service process.
Finally, on a regular basis, sit down with the employee and review his performance and results.
Example #2: Marketing Campaign
Step 1: Identify the marketing purpose.
Step 2: Detail what will constitute the marketing activities.
Step 3: Have specific goals, and check in with these goals. Compare those goals with their results so that you know if you’ve met your purpose.
Step 4: After analyzing results from Step 3, apply what you’ve learned to future marketing campaigns.
Say you’ve just created a new self-study product, and now you need to market it. Your purpose is to sell x number of products in a certain timeframe. You need to detail how you will market: email campaign, social media, etc. By the end of your marketing period, review how you did. Because you’ve been specific with how many products you wanted to sell, you’ll know how well you did – and then you can adjust for the future.
Basically, these four steps can be applied to ANYTHING:
Step 1: What do you want to happen?
Step 2: How do you make it happen?
Step 3: How do you make sure it’s happening and happening well?
Step 4: What do you need to change or tweak for better success?
Once you use this four-step process, you’ll know immediately how your systems are measuring up, what holes to fill, and what changes to make.