Reading time ( words)
The One Percent Edge: Small Changes That Guarantee Relevance and Build Sustainable Success
Author: Susan Solovic
Copyright 2018 Amacon (out March 4, 2018)
Price $ 24.95
Occasionally you read a book that truly makes a difference. I can tell I am reading a book like this one by how much longer it takes me to read it, but not because it’s boring or slow reading, certainly not! It’s because I stop constantly to jot down ideas in my notebook that stimulate me to come up with ideas that pertain to my own business. Susan Solovic’s new book, The One Percent Edge, is one of those books. She writes about change and how those companies who refuse to embrace change, die; those who find a way to adapt, win. She talks about how changes to stabilize your company and make it thrive in our ever-changing world do no have to be grandiose, life-changing initiatives, but rather small, well-thought out and well-executed gestures.
Let me get personal for a minute. I am not a fan of those big, company-changing initiatives like Re-engineering or Total Quality Management. They certainly have their place, but as Ms. Solovic points out, most of the time they are not needed. Because most of the time some simple adjustments will not only solve whatever problem a company is facing but will also make it a better company in the end.
One especially thought-provoking section of the book was the chapter, “Customer Edge.” From the first section of this chapter are these questions that we should all be asking ourselves about our slant on our customers:
- Are we giving customers a reason to change their buying habits and fall in love with us?
- Are we using technology, tools, and resources to best serve our customers?
- Do we constantly enhance the customer experience and deliver on expectations?
- Have we articulated a strong vision to our customer base and our prospects?
- Are our teams trained and empowered to serve the customers?
- Are we responsive to market shifts and changes in customer buying habits?
These questions should be framed and hung in every customer service department, or in perhaps everyone’s department!
Then later in the chapter she even breaks that taboo of all taboos of customer service and talks about firing customers. “Yes,” she says, “the customer is not always right.” To paraphrase from the book, customers should be fired if they are:
- Disrespecting your employees
- Ignoring personal boundaries
- Causing too much negativity
- Always late on payment or not paying at all
- Too needy, wanting many times more than other customers require
Think about that for a minute. This should give you the idea that this is not your grandfather’s or even your father’s book, or even your book a year ago. Read this book and it will rock your world.