Smart companies use systems to provide great service at scale. At dotloop, I do just that for real estate companies. By removing obstacles like paperwork, our customers can deliver what I call "human" experiences. Regardless of what industry you serve, systems are the only way to scale.
The Apple Experience
In particular, a Peoplework company is obsessed with making the human touch scale. One such experience is visiting the Apple Store. From the moment you enter, you are greeted by a rep, then after finding what you need, you get to test it in-store. To check out, you just swipe your card, and then the receipt is sent to your inbox, all before you've walked out the door.
What makes all of that possible with thousands of stores, employees, and customers? Systems.
As a realtor you could never scale helping more people buy or sell a home without a system like the Multiple Listing Service. This allows you to view thousands of homes so you can then show them to interested buyers. Without the ML or something comparable, like a more accurate version of Zillow, a real estate agent can only work with a few people.
People Connect with People
Unlike most people who have a small circle of friends or family members, many businesses serve hundreds or thousands of customers. Being a Peoplework company requires systems, because just a few can't serve the many. People connect with human companies, not robotic ones. So let it become part of who you are as a company. Encourage your employees to think this way, too. Lead by example, and make it known what being a human company means to you and your business. You don't have to be perfect, and your customers don't expect it. Even Apple screws up sometimes.
The Wrong Goals ...
The goals of most businesses today are impersonal. Those with call centers focus on minimizing the time per call, rather than maximizing the value of each conversation. If the goal with all your friends was to keep the calls short, how long do you think you'd stay friends? What if you forwarded your wife's calls to a guy around the globe who could barely speak her language? Flip your current thought process on its head and as Apple said, think differently. People think about business the way we were trained to think about business. However, if you approach your business the way you approach friends and family, things are bound to be far more compelling.
Focus on Existing Customers
My co-author Chris Smith and his business partner Jimmy Mackin launched a real estate digital marketing company called Curaytor in January 2013. By October, they had exceeded their annual goal by 125 percent. However, they decided to hit pause and stop adding new customers, even with demand at an all-time high. This action appeared counterintuitive to growth, but Chris and Jimmy's goal was to focus on providing a better product and service. They rebuilt their infrastructure, and in turn grew their business. Most importantly, their customers felt like family when they heard the news.
In the Peoplework era, companies will see the big picture and realize that quality, not quantity is what matters. Focus on the customer experience, and you're guaranteed to win.
For more information about Peoplework, visit pplwork.com.
Adapted with permission of Peoplework LLC from Peoplework: How to run a people-first business in a digital-first world by Austin Allison and Chris Smith. Copyright (c) 2014 by Peoplework LLC. All rights reserved.