Looking for an edge in today's wacky economy, and simultaneously help you and your employees and team Do the Right Thing? Perhaps a public forum on your web site or starting a blog may just help nudge you or your company along to "Do the Right Thing" and improve performance.
I have a couple of First Hand stories to share. Long before anyone had ever started Social Media stuff, even when cell phones were fairly new we were rehabbing a (660) unit apartment complex in Cincinnati OH. We had developed a process to rehab these units occupied, which worked fairly well. It was a five-day process and expectations were pretty clearly spelled out to the residents. All went mostly well until someone dropped the ball, usually a tradesman. It was always something pretty silly, like leaving a pop can in their unit, sandwich wrappers, dumb, but controllable stuff. We began spending an inordinate amount of time inspecting and cross inspecting, to no avail. The silly little issues were still happening, not as much, but when a toilet was left in the living room without reinstalling it I had had enough.
What fixed the problem was actually pretty simple. We started leaving my business card in every unit every day, with my cell number. At the time no one gave out his or her cell number. Seems silly today, but at the time no one did that, it was unheard of. I learned a lot with that experiment so many years ago.
1. When your customer has a way to get in touch with you they don't abuse it, and for the few that may, I have never been afraid to tell them that. The advantages of this concept of two way communication far outweigh the occasional crazy customer that "Isn't Always Right"
2. The quality of our production team exponentially increased instantly. Our Rule; One call on your unit probation, two calls termination. They then took the extra five minutes or so before leaving someone's home to make sure it was tidy. That was all we were looking for, for the employee to stop and think.
3. You do not need elaborate checks and balances if folks know they are accountable
Fast-forward almost twenty years, It was 7:40 PM, Friday evening as I made my trek home after a long busy week, when my cell phone rings. On the other end of the line was an upset resident, and without boring you with the whole story there were several choices I could have made at this point, including the old adage "Contractually" or "Per your Lease Agreement" or whatever other things we sometimes choose to hide behind when we have a need to prove ourselves right. Well, here is what I didn't want to happen, a negative blog entry or bulletin board post slamming me or our company.
So, the point of this real story is this; Would my reaction have been different Pre Blog Posts, Pre Bulletin Boards, Pre On Line Polls and Surveys, Pre Social Media where it is as easy as a few clicks to expose us. Take heed my friends, They, our Customers are in control, and will mow you over if you are not true. So, start a blog today, start a bulletin board, start an on line forum on your web site, and maybe it will self improve you and your employees performance more than you will ever know.