Whether we realize it or not everyone’s job, including the quality professional, comes down to one thing; helping our companies, at least those in business to be profitable, make money! Regardless of what we do in our company, it is our responsibility to help generate revenues so that our company succeeds.
This seems to be a very simple concept, yet it is amazing how few people seem to understand that the entire profit-based companies must have financial resources to exist. Unless a company has the power to legally print money, all our efforts and commitment to the business for which we are associated must be focused on getting the money.
Several months ago, a friend and I were having dinner at a restaurant that was well known for their food quality as well as their exceptional service. The food was served buffet style, which is important to the story. The restaurant stops serving at 9:00pm, but as likely happens many times when a busy highway runs past this restaurant, at 9:05pm a couple enters expecting to have a nice sit-down dinner.
The young waiter, however, dashed their expectations. Failing in her moment-of-truth opportunity, the waiter denied them service. The couple noticed food remaining on the buffet and people still eating in the dining room, so they were very unhappy to be turned away.
This waiter did not comprehend the concept of ‘moment of truth.’ Moment of truth is the instance or the moment when there is interaction with a customer when a product is sold, or the delivery of a service is done. In the first few seconds the customer forms or changes his/her opinion about the brand or the company.
My friend and I were somewhat amazed, but not totally surprised, at the whole scenario. My friend said, “Don’t they understand it’s all about the money?” We agreed that this restaurant, even with its fine food and good service, could very likely go out of business. The reason being that either management had not trained their staff well or the staff had little realization about how and why they stay employed. No profit-based business can remain open by prohibiting people from giving you their business and their money.
We may wonder what a person could possibly, under the circumstances, be thinking to turn away business. The truth of the matter is it is what they were not thinking that was the problem! The restaurant lost revenue because the staff did not understand the correlation between their job and sales that generate income, now and in the future.
In these situations, giving people a poor experience has a domino effect. It is almost a 100% probability the unhappy couple told at least ten people about their experience, which could significantly add to the loss of business. The statistics indicate that 4-10% of unhappy customers just go quietly away like this couple but 90% never come back. Unhappy customers talk about their experience and influence others to look elsewhere when spending their hard-earned money.
Even if you are in business for yourself, you still must generate income to remain profitable! My father used to say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” and unless you are working in such a way that is causing income to be produced, it will not be long until you are no longer in business. You must continually generate and support ways to generate money through the sale of products, goods and/or services.
If you think back a few years – it is a safe bet, you can generate a list of companies who are no longer in business. Also, think about all the employees who were disadvantaged by losing jobs and income. It may be surprising but about half of all establishments survive only five years and about one-third survive only ten years.
Why does this happen? Simply they couldn’t generate the money to pay their bills and when the money dries up, the game is over, and everyone loses. People in these establishments forgot that satisfying customers “is all about the money.”
It is easy for someone to say, “If I got paid more, or if I could make more money, I would work harder!” The error in that thinking, however, is if you don’t work hard, every day, to produce at your optimum level I can assure you that the money may not be there in the future and you won’t have a job at all.
Whether you work for yourself or work for someone else, do not lose focus on the money and the customers who are willing to reward your company by purchasing your goods and services. Many years ago, I attended a conference where Hilary “Zig” Ziglar, the late author and motivational speaker, said, “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen.” If you do not think money is not important, try living without it and see how that works!
There is no doubt that succeeding in business requires great products, good people, and effective processes. It is certainly management’s responsibility to provide those things along with a positive work environment; however, everyone, including the quality professional, must be focused on generating income and profit. This means that everyone in the company, from the corner office down to the person performing the work, must continually do their best, effectively and efficiently.