Foundation: Operations

“The outcome of business operations is the harvesting of value from assets owned by a business…either physical or intangible”

~Wikipedia

Operations is the lifeblood of your business. It is what can make you money and what can lose you money.  Careful attention must be paid to all details of your operation in order to put out a good product that you can be proud of.

This foundation pillar is also essential for repeat business, word of mouth lead generation, and more sales.  If you are a service-based business, your customer will likely spend more time with your operational crew than you or your sales person.  This is why it is good for these people or at least your manager to have good customer service skills.  When there is a problem, your customer will likely go to the crew first to try to correct it before it gets escalated up the chain of command.

If you are a product-based company, it is likely that your customer will never meet your operational team.  Instead, they will mostly only interact with your product.  The quality of your product shows who you are and can say a lot about your company.  If there is an issue, they will likely call or send an e-mail.  How you respond to this also reflects on your company.  The old adage, “The customer is always right”, isn’t always the case, but the customer must believe it is.

We know when we screw up and we know when someone is screwing us, but conflict and negative interactions must be avoided if possible.  Negative experiences are five times more powerful than positive ones.  Alina Tugend describes why in her New York Times article, “Praise Is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall”.  If you happen to get into a negative situation, try and turn it into a positive one. One good way to settle a dispute is to ask what they expect from you and then, at the very least, fulfill that expectation if you can.  Here’s a great resource from a Forbes blog on how to deal with an angry customer.

Whether you are service-based or product-based, a fine-tuned operation is essential to showing your customers that you provide an exceptional service or product they too can be proud to spread the word about.  Great products and services typically exceed expectations.  What can you do to add value to your operation?

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“Stop Doing the Mundane, and Start Getting Weird!”

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