How does adaptability work? How does it make a business more profitable? I get asked those and related questions almost daily.
Let me give you an answer by way of an example. I once worked with a parcel shipping company looking to find differentiation on their core business: package delivery.
Working with them, we came to realise they needed to start having different conversations with their customers.
Here’s how their business was run. Staff would typically drive to a customer who’d called for a pickup. The customer hands them a package that has been estimated in weight and cost. The courier would then bring it back to the office where it would be weighed again. If it was different – and it often was – they had to call the customer to find out how to proceed. If they couldn’t get in touch with the customer, they drove the parcel back to the customer to talk in person. About 24 hours was wasted in this process as well as a lot of the customer’s patience.
We did some research and came up with some solutions. The customer errors in calculating weights for their parcels was due to their lack of a weigh scale. So we gave the couriers scales to bring along when picking up the packages. We also had the couriers show customers how to properly pack items to get the least expensive rate. If the customer didn’t have the appropriate materials, the driver would bring in packing materials to assist.
They basically turned the driver into a customer service specialist. Pretty soon they would see other packages with the customer and ask why they weren’t shipping with their company. If the reason was shipping cost, they would source pricing for them often to find they were cheaper. They would even offer to do the complex import / export paperwork if necessary.
The courier took our recommendations, implemented them and increased their local revenue by 25 percent overnight.
Further, their proactive courier customer contact ended up growing the account.
They had underestimated their couriers. Originally hired to drive from location A to B, they more than rose to the challenge of their new customer-focussed roles.
Is that how all adaptable change processes work? No, not at all. They are as different as one business is from another.
To talk with Lloyd Parry about how to transform your business into an adaptable one and increase profitability, please get in touch.