Productivity. Has a nice sound to it, don’t you think?Positive. Upbeat. Forward-looking. Something we probably allshould be seeking to improve. Unfortunately, the word does nothave the same meaning for all.

Productivity. Has a nice sound to it, don’t you think?Positive. Upbeat. Forward-looking. Something we probably allshould be seeking to improve. Unfortunately, the word does nothave the same meaning for all.

Productivity, Big Business, And People

To big business, productivity means cutting all possibleexpenses. And since wages are a major expenditure, jobsroutinely disappear. (aka: Downsizing)

Large companies hire the talent to collect solid data anddetermine exactly what the profitability is for any elementin place. It is then easy to point the finger precisely atelements that are less profitable.

It can be demonstrated that if they eliminate a particularcomponent of their business, they will lose N% of customers.More important, they know precisely what N will be for anyproposed cutback.

At this level of business, people do not matterindividually. That is, the company is not concerned about theneeds or nature of potential customers turned away. The focusis on the most profitable sale to make.

Customer Support Is Decaying Rapidly

One of the early victims in the battle for increasedproductivity was customer support. Adobe, producers ofAcrobat, have taken this to an extreme. There is no contactinformation on their site. Not even an email address. Nobodyto contact if you have a problem with one of their products.

Recently the theme has been CRM (Customer RelationshipsManagement) which purportedly improves interaction betweenthe company and its customers. Done properly as a company-wideon-going project, this is extremely effective for firms thatbenefit from staying in touch with their customers.

Often, however, CRM amounts to implementing expensivesoftware systems that in effect seek to automate “interaction”and thus decrease the need for salaried employees to dealdirectly with customers.

While people in general may accept being treated in suchcavalier fashion, many will not. These people buy such productsas Adobe Acrobat only because they need the tool, and it is notavailable elsewhere.

Your Opportunity

The above picture of big business in action is loaded withimplications that can lead to a great business of your own.Or to improving one you have.

For openers, consider that N% of previous customersdiscarded. One can make an excellent living off the discardsfrom the giants. And there is nothing to fear in reaching outto embrace these potential customers, for they have already beenwritten off. It’s very unlikely that a major firm will reverseits position and want them back. And even if such a move ismade, you will already have a following that will remain loyalto you.

Support Is Central

In every aspect of your business, assure that your eagernessto support your customers shines through. Make this afundamental thrust in all you do. The name of your game mustbe: Build customer loyalty.

Can Customer Loyalty Be Sustained?

Many argue that it can not. Auto makers spend heavilyeach year to assure you come back and buy your next new carfrom them. Yet only about a third do. Not exciting resultsconsidering the bucks expended.

Many also argue that on the Web, this is most certainlytrue. That people shop for price. Period. There are twopoints overlooked in such a statement.

First, businesses that sell only on price will not succeedin the long term. Those selling at low prices will tend to disappear. As they do, your fair price becomes morecompetitive. This trend has been in place for a time,and will continue.

Second, suppose you do waste some time and/or resourcesonly to lose to a lower price. So what? Those who recognizethe support you offer will pay your price. They want thereassurance you’ll be handy if problems arise. As above,expect this trend to continue.

Your Business Productivity Plan

Still, your business can benefit from efforts to improveproductivity. Nothing fancy is required. Simply ask yourselfif there are any elements on your site that require resources,particularly time, that can be discarded.

In a sense, this may also amount to discarding potentialcustomers. Still, if you are spending an hour a monthmaintaining a page that generates only ten bucks, take a closelook. It’s at least a candidate to be discarded. Else convertit to a static offer that makes no further demands on your time.

Wrapping Up

Track down customers being discarded by big business as theyfocus on downsizing and productivity. Grab them for yourself.Then hold on to them with great customer support. While you maylose a few to price, those who appreciate your efforts will buyfrom you again.

And it may pay to look closely at your business with theview of profitability held by big business. If cutting somenear-dead wood frees up valuable timeScience Articles, it may need doing.

Article Tags:
Business Productivity, Customer Support

Source: Free Articles from


Bob McElwain, author of “Your Path To Success.”
How to build ANY business you want, just the
way you want it, with only pocket money.
Get ANSWERS. Subscribe to “STAT News” now!