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Falling Back in Love

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Author: Aaron Steed

Contact Aaron Steed

Tags: Customer Service, Entrepreneurialism, Movers

As an executive at a growing business it’s easy to find yourself busier than you have ever been working on all the complicated, high-level aspects of your business: dealing with financial analysis, banking relationships, developing and implementing new brands, processes and training. You find yourself behind your computer screen and stuck in your office from morning to night. There are endless tasks, issues and opportunities, all of which require intensive research, analysis, discussion, feasibility evaluations, etc. It’s exciting most of the time, but of course, as anyone in business knows, it can also be frustrating and sometimes nerve-wracking.

But something I have learned is that it’s important to step back, close the door on the executive suite, and walk down into the day to day operations of the company. As I write this, I am sitting at the reception desk of our main headquarters. I have spent the day greeting customers, talking to them about storage sizes, answering phone calls varying from questions about everything under the sun to fielding comments about how impressed a client was watching our guys “run their fannies off”! It’s definitely different than what I do daily, but here is why I think it’s so important:

UNDERSTANDING

The most important lesson a manager gains from working in the day to day operations of his or her business is an understanding of what their employee’s day and positions looks and feels like. Of course we know what their job description is, and what tasks are required of them, and what their day consists of on a macro level. But actually doing their job is a great way to understand how they have implemented the processes they were trained on, where there might be bottlenecks in the procedures, what parts of the day are fun and what parts are frustrating. This gives a manager a perspective from which they can do many things: streamline or improve processes and training as needed, help eliminate the frustrating aspects, and simply understand what the employee’s day is like.

APPRECIATION

I’m currently working side by side with someone who does all of these things on a daily basis. I get to see how she knows almost every single client that walks in the door by name, and how many of them have shared their life stories with her, and they have chats catching up on things. I see how she handles the vast amount and variety of phone calls coming in from perspective clients, current clients, our sales people, our movers, and people in the community who are simply intrigued by our trucks or that they saw our guys running on a move, with amazing dexterity, professionalism, and friendliness. We all know our employees are fantastic, right? Otherwise they wouldn’t be here. But I get to see how she takes her training, and then embellishes it in creative ways that delight our customers. When I’m stuck upstairs, I know that things are running smoothly downstairs, but it’s really neat to see the work personalities, and how each person creates the Meathead “spirit” that our clients love.



FALL BACK IN LOVE

One of the unforeseen aspects of working in the front office and answering phones is the large amounts of direct client interaction. I mean, everyone in this company is always focused on the end goal of a satisfied customer, but that doesn’t always include actually getting to speak with them during the move process when you are focused on updating safety procedures or sales training. Sitting down here in the lobby today I have really fallen back in love with the amazing service we provide to so many people. Behind every move there is a story, and we get to hear them all! By the time we complete a move for a customer, we have, on average spoken with them a dozen times—literally. We’ve also spent time with them before the move, and then hours on move day. I get to hear and see so many cool things: stories about new jobs, babies, funny anecdotes about teenage daughters INSISTING on using Meathead, listening to a new widower explain softly about wanting to move closer to his kids and knowing we can help him not only logistically, but being confident that this move will be handled with compassion, tact, and kindness.

PROMISES

Well, we all know falling in love usually results in promises, right? As this new year starts, I have promised myself to more consistently close the door to my office, leave all the very important, can’t-wait tasks behind, and work with one of my fellow team members in the day to day of the business. I am also going to encourage all the other managers at the company to do the same. Are you a business owner or manager? I can’t recommend enough that you do the same. Not only will you learn valuable lessons, you will have FUN!

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