Does your business lack organization around basic tasks? Do your employees seem dependent on you, and could they benefit from being more autonomous? Are your customers giving your employees poor feedback? How often do customers feel the need to take your time and repeat conversations they’ve had with your team? If any of the the previous questions seem familiar, implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) may be what you need to solve your problems. Besides empowering your team, they’re the secret to happy customers.
WHAT IS A STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE?
A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a set of instructions used to train and onboard your employees to complete a task. SOPs are the foundation of building a business that can thrive while giving you the freedom to work when and where you want.
IN ADDITION, SOPs ALLOW YOU TO…
- Keep customers happy by providing them with a consistent experience
- Minimize your time spent problem-solving
- Train new and existing employees
- Build a company that is worth more to the buyer
- Avoid or minimize an earn-out
SOPS EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES TO MAKE CUSTOMERS HAPPY
Satisfied customers are the lifeblood of any business. When a customer is pleased, they are likely to come back, tell their friends and colleagues, and create organic growth through repeat customers and referrals.
Now ask yourself, “Who among your employees offers the best customer experience?” For most smaller companies, the owner is the person who most consistently delivers for customers. Owners have the most knowledge of your product or service, have the most experience to share, and likely care the most.
That’s why most customers would prefer to deal with the owner of a business. If your customers demand that you look after them, your business is going to require you to work all the time. Most owners can’t or won’t do that, so they empower employees to interact with customers.
It’s only natural for employees to care less, and and they lack your level of industry knowledge. Therefore, the customer experience of buying from your company suffers. This means that customers want you to stay involved. Unfortunately, the growth of your company will usually stall at a few hundred thousand dollars in revenue if it depends on you. Because there are only so many hours in any day, you are limited in the time you can personally devote to serving customers.
SOPS MAKE EMPLOYEES CONFIDENT
Have you ever stopped to think about how your employees might be wired differently? Unlike founders and owners, most employees do not like uncertainty. Instead, they want a sense of mastery in their job. They love the feeling of doing good work, pleasing customers, and generally feeling confident in their professional lives.
In contrast, most owners learn by doing. When they get a new piece of furniture to assemble, they throw out the instructions and start experimenting. In contrast, your employees need instructions. They crave instructions.
Team members want the recipe card for doing their job right. That’s why SOPs can be so important for training your employees. They give your people clear instructions for mastering the main tasks that make up their jobs. SOPs build confidence from the instructions you provide, and that confidence becomes contagious.