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I'm on a mission to stop structured ineptitude this week and I have my sights on policies! It makes me crazy when I get on the phone, chat, personal conversation or email exchange that results in the customer support person on the other end is basically hogtied so they can't actually assist me in solving my problem.
"I'm sorry... I don't have access to that information..."
"I'm not allowed..."
"I spoke with my manager and he/she said 'No.'"
"We can't do that..."
Yeah it goes on and on and I know you've heard them and like me you've walked away from the exchange feeling disappointed and powerless (angry would be understandable as well).
As business owners we might like to keep our options open and shy away from policies and justify that with experiences like I've described here. Again, that's completely understandable but is there a place for the structure and streamlining that policies provide that avoids the pitfalls of abysmal customer service?
Let's find out!
For more detailed information listen to the audio version of the podcast or watch the livestream recording.
Are Policies Relevant to Small Business?
The short version: Yes, policies can and should be applied to small business. Maybe even more so than large ones! There's only one you and you have a ton to do running a business!
Think about a policy this way:
"A policy is a decision you make now, under controlled and comfortable circumstances which can be applied to situations in the future by yourself or your team when the conditions are less controlled or more uncomfortable."
A decision you make once and apply many times (leverage your value).
A well thought out policy can be used by your team so your values are adhered to even when you're not available or involved (allowing you to scale).
Policies allow you to demonstrate behavior that your customers and employees can count on (making you trustworthy).
Making a decision that you develop into a policy, under controlled circumstances, allows you to connect the policy thoughtfully to your values as a person and business owner rather than being forced to address an issue under time pressure or emotional pressure (knowing this can help keep you from 2nd guessing your 'spur of the moment' decisions).
Good Policy Bad Policy
A good policy is one that meets the criteria above and empowers your employees to grow and support your business in a way that keeps your intentions intact.
A bad policy is one that deflects responsibility, creates inefficacy or puts customers off.
Find a quiet place where you can work for an hour or so uninterrupted by people, email, text messages or even cat videos.
Pick a few (1-3) decisions you're asked to make on a regular basis.
What goes into making that decision? What criteria do you use?
Document it and share it with the people on your team that could use that policy to help you build your business!
Do you have any great policies that really help drive your business forward? Share them in the comments!
Click the link above or use your favorite pod catcher to listen to the full episode.
In the interests of actually producing the podcast and getting it out regularly I've dumped the intro videos. Is that a mistake? Let me know at email@example.com!
Thanks for watching or listening!
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