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.

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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.

people with different ethnitcities with their hands stacked in a circle

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.

people of multiple ethnicities smiling and discussing something on a laptop

SOPS CREATE HAPPY CUSTOMERS

What if you could guarantee that customers get the same experience with your team that they have with you? The secret to getting your employees to offer an owner-like customer experience is to document your expectations of them through SOPs. An SOP will show your employee how you want them to handle a specific task.  This enables employees to treat customers the way you would want them to be treated.  As Forbes put it, “Happy customers create happy employees.” When you create consistency across your front-line employees, then customers know what they are getting when they do business with your company.  While no one will be a carbon copy of you, they will provide the same quality and support that you can.  This allows you to build a true brand in the mind of your customers.

CREATE AN SOP FOR YOUR “FRONT OF HOUSE”

Restaurants refer to the place where the customer experiences their food as the “front of the house.” Regardless of what industry you’re in, you probably have a way you want customers to be treated. When you create an SOP for your most important moments with your customers, then employees will know how you want customers treated.  More importantly, they’ll have a point of reference when situations occur that they haven’t handled before.  This gives them the “recipe card” for a job well done.  It also gives you the peace of mind you need when you’re away from the office.

owner looking back at team happy

HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN SOPS

Stop wasting time guessing at how to train your team! You already know that SOPs will empower you to regain your time and train your team effectively.  So we want to invite you to our webinar, “6 Reasons To Use SOPs To Architect Your Business.” You’ll be able to architect your business by recording and repeating the most effective practices.  First, you will gain insight from Business Growth Curator’s team of experts on key areas of improvement.  Then (in real time), we’ll help you architect SOPs that will work for years to come.  Join us on January 20th at 12 PM CST, or register to get the replay!

MISS THE LIVE WEBINAR?

It’s all good!  We offer a ton of value and trainings inside our free Facebook group for business owners.  Join us there, or make sure you’re on our email list, to continue growing. developing, scaling, and making a difference!

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The idea of “care personally and challenge directly” was popularized recently by Kim Scott’s book, Radical Candor.  Kim worked with Google, Apple, and with Cheryl Sandberg directly.  In her book, she shares how to be a “kick-ass” boss without losing your humanity.  More importantly, she unpacks how to create relationships that will last a lifetime.  Keep Reading…