There’s a very old saying in business…
There’s what the owner wants to happen, there’s what the owner thinks is happening, and then there’s what’s actually happening.
This statement rings true with so many clients when I first start working with them. Many times they are judging their staff’s ability to serve their client in the manner they expect by the amount of profit they generate each month.
Just today I received an email from a client with their most recent profit and loss statement with a subject line “just imagine how much better this would be if my staff knew how to answer the phone”. The reason for this revelation is a series of inspection systems we recently implemented in that practice. Just last week my client inspected calls prior to going to bed and made a promise to not stop until a perfect call with a score of 10 was found. After listening to 25 calls my client went to bed dejected, tired and frustrated that the staff was refusing to follow guidelines.
The great news in this example is that now they know and they can create a plan on how to improve. The bad news in this example is, now they know… Before, ignorance was bliss. The money is in the bank, the clients appeared to be happy and they were growing. The reality is, things could be better and if gone unchecked, things will get worse. So, now they must go to work fixing it.
I first learned about the importance of inspection as a young boy watching my grandfather shave. When he was finished he would open the medicine cabinet door and put a mark on an index card with a pencil. When I asked him what that was for, he told me each mark represented the number of shaves he got out of each razor. When I asked why that was important he proceeded to show me index cards from the previous years. It very clearly pointed to the fact that manufacturers of his particular razor were decreasing in quality so about a year before that my grandfather changed brands and Voila! the number of shaves he got out of each razor went back up. Grandpa was raised during the depression, so every nickel was vital to him, regardless of how many nickels he had. I don’t have an index card with my shaves listed on it, as I shave in the shower (that’s what bald guys tend to do), but the lesson from grandpa couldn’t be more clear: Inspect what you expect!
What should you be inspecting that you assume is going well?
Building a better business, one inspection at a time…