The Dependability Challenge

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By Brian Forth

The gauntlet has been thrown down. We can't hide now...we must be exceptional.

While it is nice that we were recently recognized for dependabilty, I see it as more of a challenge. A challenge for us to do more, perform better, and have more satisfied customers.

So, what are we going to do? How will we respond? How can you respond to your customers in such as way as to be known for dependabilty? How can your business garner coveted word of mouth referrals?

While not's what I recommend...feel free to add comments below on other things you think are important.

1. Focus on your business.

Don't waste time looking over your shoulder at your competitors. Instead, focus on being the very best you can be at what you do.  Get your house in order. List everything you do well, and everything that needs improvement. Address issues, deal with them, and don't sweep anything under the rug. Take criticism as an opportunity for improvement, not as a personal attack, and be sure to thank the person who gave you that opportunity.

2. Establish systems.

Make sure you have set systems for dealing with all situations. Make sure your people know what those systems are. If something falls outside of that system, create a new one. We have systems for simple tasks like setting up new hosting customers as well as complex systems to track complex projects.

3. Empower your people.

Stay out of the way of your employees. Give them the tools (systems) to perform their tasks, let them solve problems creatively, and give them the responsibility and authority to satisfy customers.

4. Communicate.

Make sure email is answered within a couple of hours and phone calls the same day if possible (I'm trying).  Keep communication  professional, get to the point, and archive your messages to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

5. Follow through.

Do what you say you will do. Everytime.

We will continue to work on improving in all these areas, while not perfect by any means, we've made it our New Year's resolution to continue focusing on improving and providing exceptional service.

Awards / Recognition, Deep Thoughts

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