I consider Method to be a solution-obsessed company. I personally get very geeky about problem solving, and find that this characteristic has woven itself deeply into the entire company's DNA. It has defined who we are.
At Method, we're a technology company, but the beliefs and practices that have led to our growth and success are applicable to any small business, regardless of the location or industry.
We're going to share what makes us a solution-obsessed company as the first theme of a new weekly series we are launching. I know you are busy running your companies, facing tough choices, balancing priorities and doing the most you can with limited resources and time. So our series will be focused on giving you three effective ideas for your business you can put into practice right now.
So let’s get started with a topic everyone can relate to:
Here are 3 things we practice at Method:
- Stop selling. Start helping. As a solution-obsessed company, you need to be a good listener in order to understand the problem you are trying to solve. Seek further clarification to help you understand not just what the customer needs, but why they need it. When you know why, you can make better recommendations, set better expectations, and anticipate future needs or roadblocks.
- Be consistent. Avoid case-by-case promises that cause one customer service experience to differ from another. Instead, make fair and reasonable policies and empower staff to make decisions. Train your staff with online material that is always up to date, giving them access to the knowledge of their peers. At Method we use articles (“solutions”) and encourage all staff to contribute and update as needed. The result: rookies and veterans both provide solutions to customers that are accurate and relevant.
- Seek feedback. Before getting off the phone with a customer, let them know the date and time you'll be calling them next to give them a status update. Never leave a customer in limbo. When we are working on an issue for a Method user, we often give them a recommended solution, ask them to try it and then let us know how it went. But silence is not success - a service ticket is not closed until the customer says it is closed, so we reach out daily for up to two weeks until we get confirmation that the issue is indeed solved.
What do you think? We’d love to hear from you and if you have any other tips to offer. As the series grows, we’ll be adding guest bloggers and looking for your stories on how you put what we suggested into practice, how you adapted or improved on it and if you have any pain points and challenges you’d like us to cover.
As they say, good things come in threes.