By Jody Grunden
With the right people in place, empowered to work independently, and proper access to the tools that are necessary to get the work done, process comes next.
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Creating process is important in any business if you want to scale, but it is imperative when it comes to remote work. Process helps streamline things, reduces confusion and makes your team more efficient and productive.
In “The E-Myth Revisited,” Michael E. Gerber tells the story of “A Match, a Mint, a Cup of Coffee and a Newspaper,” detailing his incredible experience at a hotel in Venetia, California. Although he happened upon the hotel accidentally, with no reservation, he was pleasantly surprised – and even inspired – by everything he experienced while he was there.
The check-in process was a breeze. They even made a reservation for him at a nearby restaurant that night, also making dinner smooth and enjoyable. When he returned to his room, there was a fire crackling in the fireplace, the bed was turned down and there was a mint on his pillow. In the morning, he received his preferred newspaper as well as his preferred brand of coffee.
How did they know? The hotel staff had asked him about his preferences and listened to what he told them.
Gerber was blown away by his experience and, as a result, has returned to that same hotel a number of times. Returning, he discovered that the preferences he had told them on his first visit were saved in the hotel’s management system so that he receives the exact same spectacular experience every time.
This type of experience is rare, but it’s the kind of thing that establishes impressive customer satisfaction as well as brand loyalty. Gerber was so inspired by his experience that he wanted to learn more about how the hotel could pull it off.
He talked to the hotel manager and learned that it came down to an operations manual – “nothing but a series of checklists” – in a big blue binder. The hotel owner had developed systems, a series of checklists, for every part of the customer experience to ensure that everything was done according to a set of standards.
“The whole thing was put together in a way the owner believed would make a positive impression on our guests. You’d be amazed at how many people come up to me after staying here just to thank me for how well they were treated. But it’s not the big things they talk about; it’s always the little things.”
This story has been an inspiration to us. We believe that developing process is crucial to the success of a growing business. We want every client to receive the same experience and know exactly what to expect from us. In order for us to deliver that type of service to our clients, we have developed processes – internal and external – to ensure consistent delivery that meets the expectations we have set.
In addition to a fantastic client experience, developing process increases the efficiency of the team and enables us to deliver in a timely manner. It’s important that the steps be outlined as clearly as possible so everyone knows where to find exactly what they need and can follow them without having to stop and ask questions. Process reduces frustrations on both sides, removes bottlenecks and ensures that nothing slips through the cracks.