The Chief Firefighter can’t measure the temperature of a fire, he is too far away. It is up to the front line, the firefighters, to measure the temperature.
What does this mean for the founder?
It is not your role to be on the frontline. It is not your role to collect data.
Your role as founder should be to ensure your front line team knows it is their responsibility to feed data back to the rest of the organisation. You also need to be give them the authority to do this. It is your responsibility to make sure there are tools in place for them to do this.
What does this mean for the employee?
Data is the most powerful way to instigate a change within your organisation or team. Data is not an opinion and it is in your face.
Let’s say you are working in customer service and have noticed a large number of complaints from customers for similar issues. You could let your manager:
“Over the last 30 days we have received 16 complaints from customers who complained of a faulty adapter. These customers spent an average of $246 with us and we have now lost over 70% of them as returning customers.”
Instant wake up call!
It might be frustrating when your organisation doesn’t work as it should. But you have the tools at your disposal to make a change.
Data is the best tool to instigate a change in behaviour. In an organisation or anywhere else for that matter.
Vodafone are my phone service provider. I received an SMS from them today asking for feedback on my recent visit to their store – changed from an iPhone to Samsung Galaxy last week.
This was the first time I have received a request for customer feedback via SMS. Email is overcrowded and businesses tend to ask for too much. Phone calls don’t work as I don’t want to give up the time.
“Could I borrow 5 minutes of your time?” or “This survey will only take 10 minutes?”
The SMS worked well. They already had my mobile number and they asked for simple and actionable ratings. I replies back with 1 number to each SMS. I could tell the feedback would go back to the person who served me.
They only asked 5 questions, it took 1 minute of my time and I could reply to each of the 5 messages in my own time.
Hopefully businesses take advantage of different avenues for gaining valuable customer feedback like this.
Last week I read a post from Steve Sammartino about the ability to save and it’s indication of financial success. It is worth worth reading all of the post, but the part I thought I would highlight is:
“I really believe that any human who wants to succeed financially and in business needs to be able to save money. It is the most basic of financial requirements to prove to ourselves we have the capacity to think ahead and delay gratification.”
I have never given any thought to this before but could not agree more.
Savings shows patience and the ability to stick with something for a long period of time without a near sign of reward.
I still remember saving for a $40 boogie board at the age of 7. It took over 6 months. My pocket money was $1 per week.
The memory of saving has stuck with me for a long time. So has the discipline.
I cannot think of better business skill my parents could have given me at a young age.