Tag Archive for: operations

Making the Right Thing, the Easy Thing

Good leaders make the right thing to do, the easy thing to do. 

One of MJM’s clients is so committed to this concept that the company – in this case, a multi-location medical practice – allows every employee to spend up to $100 to brighten the day of their patients, colleagues, or a vendor partner. The practice wanted this to be frictionless, so they avoided making it a bureaucratic process heavy on checks and permissions. 

Your mind went right to how much that costs, didn’t it? Let me allay your fears: across 300 employees, it’s never amounted to more than $600 per month. For our client, empowering their team to make a difference on the spot has generated so much word-of-mouth marketing that they’ll never stop making the right thing to do, the easy thing to do.

It all began with training and practice, both of which set expectations for how this team would treat everyone from patient customers to co-workers to the delivery drivers. Without those, their daily interactions become a series of missed opportunities. 

Like this one from my personal life. Last January, I had a medical appointment that fell on my birthday. (Not the same practice as the one above.) I was the first patient of the day, and I optimistically showed up ten minutes early hoping to get in and out a little sooner. However, since it wasn’t quite 8 a.m., the receptionist, whom I could see talking with co-workers, dodged eye contact and let me wait at the check-in counter until exactly 8 a.m.

When she did greet me, it was with “date of birth?” She could have easily guessed at my name given the early hour or added a simple “good morning.” She didn’t, and even after giving my birth date, she continued to mechanically click computer keys with no eye contact. It never dawned on her that the date I’d given was THAT day and my birthday. 

Did that receptionist hate birthdays? Does she love greeting people by their date of birth? Not likely. It’s that nobody trained her to lead with another greeting – to set the tone and make a positive first impression. No one made it an expectation that she pay attention to the DOB because sometimes you’ll have an opportunity to make someone’s day. In this case, the right thing to do WAS the easy thing to do, and they missed it. 

Regular training and practice provide invaluable insight. It reveals when customers are overwhelmed, when your message is muddled, and places where your expectations need to be recalibrated. It also reminds us to be empathetic to our customers – they rarely come primed to hear everything we want to share. It’s crazy what we expect of them! 

One final note about making the right thing to do, the easy thing to do: celebrate team members who do it. This reinforces your sincerity and commitment to upholding this value for your company and providing a positive experience for everyone your team interacts with.   

Matt Jensen Marketing is more than a marketing agency. We’re also experts at customer experience and operations. Contact us to see how we can help you improve both for your business.

Marketing is Your Last Step

It was my first day at a new job and I walked in, quite literally, to phones that were ringing off the hook. Curious, I approached the area where a pair of receptionists, who, as pleasant as could be, were fighting a losing game of whack-a-mole with the blinking red lights on their consoles. When I asked why today had such a high call volume, they told me “It’s always like this.”

If job security had a ringtone, I had a lot of it.

However, as awesome as that was, this company wasn’t ready to handle the results of their marketing. Their team had executed a focused strategy to get their name out and it worked.

Focus on Operations First

But little attention had been paid to the infrastructure and operations necessary to handle things like call volume or adequate parking. Even more broadly, no one had considered how mundane things like poorly-designed forms or long phone wait times can undo months — and in this case years — of strategic marketing. 

When your prospective customer finally picks up the phone or fills out the contact form on your website, you must be ready to follow through on your promises. Jimmy John’s couldn’t promise “Freaky Fast Delivery” without putting in place everything possible to guarantee that delivery is, in fact, freaky fast. 

Marketing Comes Last

In other words, what many people don’t realize is that operations is the first step to effective marketing. At MJM, we take that even further. To us, operations is marketing and well-designed operations lead to a stellar patient experience that, in turn, leads to word-of-mouth referrals. Only once those things are in place should full-scale marketing efforts be launched. 

That was a welcome mindset for the receptionists whack-a-moling their way through phone call after phone call. I paused the company’s marketing that very day so we could focus on operations for a time. When we restarted our marketing plan a few months later, the phones were still ringing with one notable exception: we’d gotten better at handling our call volume.

And just about everything else we did.