Consistent, predictable service helps businesses thrive. Not only does predictability help customers feel cared for, but it also provides stability for employees.
In a recent interview, Business Success Consulting Group CEO Adi Klevit talked with Engenius CEO Chris Manley about how and why his web design and digital marketing company builds consistency into his services.
Why Build Business Systems?
There are many reasons to build business systems. For Chris and his business partner, it was to support consistently excellent work in a way that allowed them to simplify, do less overall, and reduce stress.
Their primary business system – an almost 200-step process their team now uses for building custom websites – began as a 13-step process for the two-person business to follow. As their company grew and they refined their process, the steps became more plentiful. But, even as the system evolved and their company expanded, their product – custom websites and results-based marketing campaigns, improved.
The first step of creating every process in their company is: Why are we making this system? You can ask yourself this question as you tackle system building in your own company.
Build Consistency and Predictability with Business Systems
No matter your product or service, you likely want it to be consistently excellent. This requires a system.
In the case of a creative company or one that builds personalized products, some may argue that a system will ruin creativity. This does not have to be the case.
Some processes focus creativity, and building systems around them will provide the predictability that allows creativity to flourish. For example, Salvador Dali systemized his method for creating surrealistic paintings. He would sit in a tall-backed chair with a skeleton key in his hand and a plate on the floor or a table beneath his hand. As he drifted off to sleep, his hand would relax, and the key would hit the plate, waking him. In that instant between dreaming and waking, he’d experience a surrealistic moment and sketch or paint whatever he saw.
This incredibly niche system helped Dali consistently create the art that still hangs in museums today.
In the creative field of custom website building, Chris shared that systems help his team customize websites by providing them with key steps that help them dive deep with the client, keep the client in mind as they build the process, and then test the overall product so that they know every link works and all images communicate the client’s message. These systems allow his team to provide the client with a customized product.
Consider what you’d like to be consistent and predictable in your company. Build systems around instilling that predictability into the company culture.
How to Build a System That Delivers Predictability
Here is a brief overview for constructing a system that delivers predictability.
1. Begin by laying out the basic steps needed.
2. Give your team access to the system.
3. Get their input.
4. Allow for change and refinement.
Look for what can be consolidated, what’s outdated, what needs to be added, and what should be removed.
5. Keep updating – no system is set in stone.
The above five steps help create a culture in which employees are excited to use the systems they have created, want to maximize efficiency, and can see improvements that they made – giving them ownership of the system.
Example: Chris’s System of Responsiveness
In the interview, Chris provided his system for responding to all customer inquiries. Here it is:
1. Set expectations.
Determine how fast you will get back to a client if they ask a question.
2. Establish who will respond.
Every employee is busy with their day. If you want rapid response times, you must establish who is on-call throughout the workday.
3. Set up automation or hire an answering service that sets expectations.
Your employees cannot be available 24/7, but clients deserve a rapid response. Set up an automated response or hire an answering service to reply to any client communication outside of work hours quickly.
4. Determine who replies to off-hour emails/calls when the team returns to the office.
Once the team returns to the office, determine who will check the voicemail or answer the general inquiry inbox. Establishing this ensures that all expectations are met.
This simple internal process has helped the team at Engenius gain a reputation of responsiveness among their clients, leading to further client recommendations.
Are you ready to build essential business systems? Get in touch with the experts at Business Success Consulting Group and get started. Click here to schedule your free initial consultation call.