If you lead any kind of service business, the conditions are ripe for you to be the next big winner emerging from the current economic stall. Here’s how:
1. Think and act for the long term. Anyone can temporarily improve profits in the short term by cutting costs, and reducing services. If you do, you might even weather the economic storm, but you’ll lose your customer loyalty in the long term.
2. Increase all things "customer." Here’s your chance to stand out of the crowd. As the economy tightens up, hold fast to your services and your per capita customer-service spending. Let your business be known for urgency, responsiveness, and quality.
3. Fight the temptation to cut—maybe even spend more. Prepare yourself. You’re going to be tempted to cut. Don’t do it.
Most business success stories are forged during economic downturns where courageous leaders make disciplined decisions that often run counter to what everyone else is doing. Do you want your company to come out of this economic stall in the lead? Then have the courage to make tough decisions now, and increase, not decrease, your attention and your resources on customers: product execution, service delivery, and satisfaction measurement. You’ll be glad you did.
Richard D. Hanks President Mindshare Technologies Salt Lake City