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R.V.M.=Rear View Mirror

Although businesses are experiencing a failing economy, they are still reluctant to change. Many are caught or paralyzed in the past and reluctantly give credence to factors that are presently influencing their business.

The use of social media is a prime example of one of these factors. Ask any business about customer service and they will tell you this is their prime mission. If you ask them about staying in touch with their customers they will also say this is another of their important focus. But if you ask them if they are using social media they’ll ask you, what for? More about customer service from Dan Alcorn; here’s the link, Dan Alcorn  on Appreciation Marketing.

When contemplating change it’s wise to look at the present market and what’s happening in the market place. The reality of most markets is some loss of revenues, decrease in business or competitors gaining a competitive advantage. For most businesses, now is the time to rethink, retool and remake. But making it happen is another story. By the way, this a great article on change in the Harvard Business Review.

Consider what the airlines have had to go through to stay in business. Charging for baggage, not serving snacks, adding wireless, eliminating blankets and pillows all in the name of survival and change. Many of their changes appear to not be well thought out and come a little too late.

As an example, customers have been asking about Internet connections for years; this is a service that is long overdue. It makes you wonder, what are the airlines thinking about? We know what it is; charging for bags. Many of their changes appear not to be well thought out; if they were they wouldn’t have to continue changing.

One of the stumbling blocks to change, whether it is on a personal or business level is the lack of urgency. The HBR talks about how businesses rarely understand how difficult it is to get their employees to change—even if the leader decides it’s a good idea. This became quite evident to me several years ago when a major client of mine went out of business. At the time they were losing market share , business was down and our focus groups were supporting the need for change. Middle management was determined to stay where they were and continued to ignore the economic signs. Urgency was never established and people wouldn’t budge. To me it seemed similar to rearranging the chairs on the Titanic as the water continued to rise. This was another  pointless effort.

If change is to occur, those on the top must be clear about the urgency and start the process quickly, if the business is to survive. People must understand they are an integral part of the process and that the past is the past. Try not to get caught up in the past.

For an overview of my presentation on Change Is Not In The Rear View Mirror, I’ve included a blog post written by Kate Sparks.

We are all fragile when it comes to change; sometimes eagles need a push.

Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers through customer service and sales training.

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