Friday, November 30, 2012

Who is the Most Important Person in Your Company?

Putting egos aside for a moment, who do you think is the most important person in your modular home company?

For a modular home builder that is self employed, you probably think you are and you certainly are but you’re not the most important. Maybe you’re a mid size builder with a sales person, production foreman and an office manager. Are any of them the most important person? Probably not. Is it the customer? No, because they don't work for you.

Moving on the modular home factory, we have the owner, upper and middle management, sales reps, service techs, production and office staffs. Are any of them the most important? If you got them all together, they would probably say it was the owner but that couldn't be further from the truth.

The most important person in your company is the last person that "touched" your customer. That person sets the tone for all future interaction with the company.

Let’s take a look at a couple of things that might happen. Let’s assume you are a modular home builder and your customer just visited their new home while it was being finished by your trim and paint people. The customer walks in on one of the crew drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette while painting the wall. Do you think the customer will be happy? Do you think the next call to you, the builder, will be as pleasant as all the previous calls have been? Even if the painter was a subcontractor, he was in the customer’s house smoking and drinking. I would bet a bundle that the customer tells everyone that will listen just how crappy the people are that work for you.

In the modular home factory, there are many people that touch the builder. If the very last person that touched the builder was, for example, the Service Manager who told the builder that he was not going to reimburse him the $85 to repair the interior door simply because the factory would never ship him a bad door, you can bet the builder will be hot when he calls first calls his sales rep, then the sales manager and finally the owner. Each call will become more dramatic. The builder will threaten to find another factory and just might do it all for a broken $85 door.

If you work for a modular home factory or a builder, it is extremely important to be the best last “touch” your builder or customer gets.

I was reminded of an incident in a Holiday Inn many years ago where the meal wasn't ready on time for a wedding and the bride was screaming at the front desk person; water was overflowing in one of the rooms, a bus just pulled up outside with 40 people wanting to get their reserved rooms and at that very moment the phone rang.

The front desk clerk picked it up and in the sweetest voice said “Holiday Inn, how may I help you.”

Even in the worst situations, be sure you are the best “touch” you can be. 

This makes YOU the most important person for your company!


Modular Factory Owner said...

Great article. I had never thought about the last person that touches the customer being the last impression the customer gets of the company. Looking back on several builders that left our factory over the years, it occurs to me that they were touched badly.

I'm going to call them this week and try and find out why they really left us and what we can do to improve things the next time that a last touch loses us a builder.

eric b said...

You are completely right> I have worked in many industries, as an employee and as an owner. The most important thing that I have learned, is that professionalism must be across all channels. These behaviours are learned and must be supported by the powers that be (the owner).If not say goodye to your customers

Eric Burger