You've a well-earned reputation for what you do.
At times, it's taken blood, sweat and tears to get there.
But you've got it now and whilst it may have a while to get there, you want to protect it at all costs. And rightly so. You've deserved that reputation.
But as your business grows and the team expands, you find yourself struggling to find the time (nor do you want to micro-manage) to manage every single thing that goes out the door. Then you notice things slipping.... ... emails are riddled with mistakes, your marketing content is not quite on brand, client names are wrong on letters and contracts or simply the level of client service isn't up to scratch.
So, how can we continue to keep that high quality service and reputation intact? (Without you spending hours meticulously checking everything)
1.Be clear on your definitions
Firstly, we need to get clear on what our definition of 'high quality', 'professionalism' or 'excellence' looks like. Sounds obvious, right? But your definition of 'professionalism' or 'high quality' may be different to someone else's.
A Saville Row tailor and John Lewis both pride themselves on delivering high quality service but the reality is they provide two very different experiences.
No one way is right or wrong and they're tailored to meet their specific customers - but they are different variations of quality customer service.
So, what does great service look like to you?
What is excellence and high quality in your business? Importantly, what is it not?
What are your NNPs - your non-negotiable points? The standards you won't accept.
The clearer you can be and what is and isn't the best quality for you, then the easier it will be for your team to follow and deliver and exceed your expectations.
2. Communicate them regularly
A simple one pager can go a long way.
If you can put your thoughtsdown on paper and keep them somewhere central so they can be shared easily and regularly, then it'll help people understand and live up to those expectations.
Talk about them regularly - team meetings, share case studies and examples.
Documenting systems and processes are key for businesses as they scale to keep consistency across the board. Provide people with a clear understanding of what's high level and what's sub-standard will give them a clear direction to work towards.
3. Review, recognise and acknowledge
How do you review customer service from your team?
The final service or product that gets shipped?
Social media posts being signed off?
Think about what regularly processes you have in place to check the final quality of work before it goes out the door. Establishing regular reviews, progress sessions or sign off points provides everyone with the opportunity to spot mistakes, poor quality before it leaves your business and has potential to damage your business name.
When people are clear about what's expected of them, it becomes much easier to deliver and to do so consistently. And when they do exceed your expectations; delight a client, deliver an outstanding presentation, create a new product, then take a moment to recognise and celebrate them.
A simple 'well done' or 'thank you' still goes a very long way!