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Secure direct access of competitive advantage

All companies that outperform their competitors have two key characteristics in common: a highly labor force energized, plus hordes of satisfied customers who keep coming back. Two good things have – but of course everyone knows the reason that few companies have a clear competitive advantage is precisely these two things are so difficult to achieve. But wait. If it really is as difficult as all that, the few companies that achieve remove it to be absolutely exhausted by the effort? When you take a close look (like me) in the funny business that consistently achieve both objectives – firms flashpoint and refer to them – which is always quite the opposite. Employees at all levels seem perpetually lit up, as if every day are involved in some kind of fun activity of the group. Is there a big secret about "energy workers" and "satisfied customers" that such flashpoint businesses understand, and everyone seems to have overlooked?

There is no doubt it is. And it has to do with what most people considers the basic difference between "Work" and "play." The first step in a shortcut to the competitive advantage is to understand the specific elements that make the game much more satisfying than work.

Play Element 1: Challenge
Achieving better results would be much easier bowling if the pins were closer. On the other hand, I would have to pay to go to a nightclub where everyone could bring down all the pins with ease every time? Calling all down again and again quickly begins to feel like the kind of repetitive and meaningless activity the most experienced bowlers in their work, and play the bowling, precisely to escape. To be funny, have to be a real challenge, that is key.

In most workplaces, there is a single well-defined "Mission" that takes precedence over everything else. Instead, there are all kinds of tasks and objectives and deadlines often make workers feel they are being pulled in a dozen directions at once. For many, the only real challenge at work resists the temptation to quit.

Contrast this with flashpoint businesses, where the only crystalline primary mission is to bring business to competitors by trying to delight every customer at all times. In this type of companies, the reason seems that workers are having fun is because in many aspects of his work feels like a game with a single, a challenge common goal.

Direct access to Competitive Advantage, Part I: Challenge everyone in your company to think about beating the competition, through superior customer service, "as the aim to replace all others at all times.

Play Element 2: Rules
Each play activity has developed its own set of rules. In a new game, even before play begins, all rules are carefully explained. These rules are added to the challenge, and keep the game fair for everyone.

In the workplace, the rules are often vague and unclear. They even seem to move and change from time to time, based on different situations that arise. Workers often are reluctant to take initiatives, not knowing whether to do it later won the praise (for "Thinking outside the box") or blame (for "breaking rules "). They tend to adopt a play-IT-safe.

In comparison, most companies explain their flash point values and priority-rules-again and again. "Their goal is to delight customers, but not by doing anything that harms the organization in any way." "We want to get business away from competitors, but not illegal or underhanded manner. "

Direct access to competitive advantage, the second part: Make sure your workers understand how the game is being played-how, for example, are given the opportunity to reach their own ideas to improve the customer experience. Clarify what constitutes a "bad" or a violation of the rules.

Play Element 3: Score
In recreational activities of all kinds, there is a type of scoring mechanism that allows players to instantly know how well they are doing. This immediacy is essential. How popular is bowling pins if were in darkness, and the players never knew how well he played until the results came in the mail weeks later?

This is what it feels like for the majority of workers at work. Not knowing how well they are doing until the "quarterly reports" out, or until your annual meeting of performance evaluation.

Things are different in flashpoint businesses. There spontaneous positive customer reactions satisfied becomes the number one scoring mechanism. At the same time, also serves as the number one employee motivation, the basis for the conclusion endless internal and recognition.

Direct access to competitive advantage, the third part: the harvest immediate positive feedback from customers for all means at its disposal (especially informal face-to-face), and address as many of these comments as possible for their workers.

Play Element 4: Satisfaction
Bowlers know before every game we will not succeed in breaking down all the pins at all times. Players in each type of game know that never achieve a perfect score, but this does nothing to diminish their attempts to do so. And when your score tells them that their performance was closer to the goal unattainable, their sense of satisfaction and accomplishment is profound. There are screams and high fiveing, and every kind of dance imaginable exuberant victory.

Flashpoint businesses also know they will not succeed in delighting every customer at all times. But when feedback indicates that they have approached this goal unattainable, the same type of cheering and celebration erupts. Is something that almost never experienced in most workplaces, and is something that is almost routine in the dot of inflammation. Have a great time to win their opponents and once again the victory dance joins them for their achievements and share their common determination play the game again, and fight together to win another round.

Direct access to competitive advantage, Part Four: Creating a culture of celebration that maximizes workers sense of achievement in each "rave review" of happy customers. This motivation is the fuel that quickly gained a competitive advantage more powerful in any business and help sustain long-term return.

Customer-focus consultant Paul Levesque latest book is The Customer Service Inside Out Made Easy (Entrepreneur Press, 2006).

Copyright Paul Levesque.

About the Author

Paul Levesque studies businesses where motivated workers drive up customer satisfaction & positive feedback from customers drives up motivation.
Book keynote speaker Paul Levesque to speak at your meeting www.keynoteresource.com/PaulLevesque.html

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