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How’s Your Process?

Posted In Customer Service, Operations, Process & Procedures ON November 5, 2018

I’m fortunate to live near Narrative Coffee – the perfect place to imbibe a hot beverage, in a comfortable setting, on a dreary January day. Narrative not only offers great coffee, a delicious selection of uncommon herbal teas, and cookies baked fresh on site, they offer consistently great customer service.

Great service includes a way for their customers to bypass the line at the main counter, get their coffee fast, and go.

Meet the Honor Bar.

Narrative’s self-serve Honor Bar is welcoming and easy to navigate. It works well because the layout allows customers to quickly understand:

– What is this about?
– Who is this for?
– When do I use it?
– How does it work?

If any of these components were missing, it might leave the customer feeling unsure and uncomfortable, which is the opposite of how you want your customers to feel when they interact with your business.

The Honor Bar allows you to pour and pay for your coffee without interrupting the baristas who are trying to serve others. It provides clear and simple step-by-step instructions that you can even pick up if you need to read them at close range.

This is an example of a great process at work. So great, in fact, that you don’t think of it as a process. Just a great experience.

Every business is made up of processes: internally focused, customer-facing, intentionally crafted, or made up on the spot to put out fires. Unless you’re like me, and process is your passion, you probably focus more on the passion behind your business, not the process.

But when things aren’t working so well, it’s time to take a second look. Even if you don’t feel plagued by problems, solid processes will help you work more efficiently, save you time and money, bring clarity and consistency to your work, and allow you to grow efficiently.

Sounds great, but process just isn’t your thing? Truth is, most business owners could use help developing good processes, because process is not your passion. It’s mine. And, it takes a certain type of mind and objectivity to break the work into its parts and identify the best path to get the result you want.

So, take a few minutes today and ask yourself how well your processes are working for your business. Your passion started your business, good processes will keep it going.

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