The Art of Delighting Your Clients
A couple of items for your consideration. First up relates to that all important concept of delighting clients and of how you might go about turning the concept into reality. Next up, which shouldn’t be a surprise, is an accounting item, from your certified chartered accountant. This time on monitoring your Profit and Loss (P&L) statement. (Hint, you should do it more than once a year.)
Delight Your Clients
How you prioritise delighting your clients can make all the difference to your brand/business.
Free your imagination on how this might look for your market.
As a window into how the other half lives, the Ritz Carlton’s policy allows an employee to spend up to $2,000 a day to meet a need, resolve a concern or ensure an outstanding experience for any single guest without requiring funding approval.
Stories abound. A laundry manager, unable to get the stain from a dress, flew from Puerto Rico to New York to return the dress in person. In Dubai, a waiter overheard a man with his wheelchair-bound wife, lamenting that he couldn’t take her down to the beach. The waiter and maintenance got together. The next day a wooden walkway led down to a tent where dinner was set up for them on the beach.
Setting Your Business Ahead Of The Pack
You may not have the margins (or the luxe market) to deliver this kind of client service. But think about what you can do to make your service exceptional. Start with the basics, such as making sure everyone answers the phone with a smile. Offer visitors a juice or a coffee. Be attentive to clients and listen to what they’re really saying. Respond quickly to enquiries. And make sure excellent service is a priority for everyone on the team.
Think about your industry and what might set your business ahead of the pack for service. What are the things that could build your reputation for outstanding service?
Got To Love Your P&L Statement
How often do you look at the Profit and Loss (P&L) statement for your business?
Only once a year?
It could be more useful to monitor it more often.
Your P&L statement gives you a great way to keep an eye on how your business is doing. Like the name suggests, it shows profit and loss for a given period. That might be monthly, quarterly or annually, as often as you like.
Your P&L statement charts revenue and expenses – incomings and outgoings – so that it can help you see what’s actually happening with your cashflow. This is why it’s also sometimes called an income and expenditure account or a statement of financial performance.
A Few Questions to Ask Yourself
When you look over your P&L statement, look for a few basics:
- This year/last year? How do this year’s numbers compare with last year’s?
- What’s the margin? What’s the margin between revenue and expenses? After you’ve taken away all your expenses, the remainder is your profit. This will give you an idea of how much you can take out of the business and how much you are likely to need for your normal business costs. Is there room to factor in a buffer amount for unexpected costs? Do the numbers fit with what you know you need for upcoming tax payments? Should you be reinvesting in the business?
- What are the trends? Do revenues or costs rise or fall in a regular pattern from month to month? Can you see why the patterns occur?
- What bucks the trend? Can you see any incomings or outgoings that don’t fit with the pattern? With windfall revenues, is there anything you could do to extend them so they become the norm rather than the exception? With sudden unpredictable spikes in your costs, are these easily explained or are they symptoms of emerging business risk?
A Great Risk Management Strategy
Regularly checking in with your P&L is a great risk management strategy. And if you’re trying new marketing techniques or running new product lines, it’s a good way to track whether they’re performing well.
We Love This P&L Stuff
You know we love this stuff. Talk to us, we would be happy to take you through how to gain more meaningful data from your P&L.
Contact us today for an initial, free consultation about how to migrate your accounts to a cloud based accounting service. It’s what we do.