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Big strides can come from small steps
by Andy Mee

Often as a business, you are striving for the next big thing, however you can make big strides simply by taking small steps through incremental improvements in what you do. This is certainly how a number of our great sporting leaders have succeeded in rising to the top of their sport.

Take Sir Clive Woodward for instance. In his drive and determination to take England to the Rugby World Cup title in 2003 he looked into every aspect of how the team’s performance could be improved. For instance this involved changing the material the rugby shirts were made of so as to make them more difficult to grab hold of or the eye exercises his players undertook to improve their peripheral vision.

Sir David Brailsford has a similar philosophy. He makes sure his riders get a good night’s sleep by transporting their own bed and pillow to each hotel. Sir David’s view is that while each improvement may seem trivial in their own right, the cumulative effect however can be huge.

Therefore applying this logic to your business, what could your small incremental improvements be? How might you adopt the same thinking applied by Sir Clive Woodward and Sir David Brailsford?

One starting point could be how you deal with and manage customer complaints. Every customer complaint is an opportunity to understand what you don’t do well, put it right and stop it from happening again. Customers often understand things do go wrong, however, how you put it right will determine their longer term view of your service. This is called Service Recovery. Customers will often turn into your greatest advocates if you resolve their complaints quickly and satisfactorily. Think what a 5% improvement in your customer retention could be worth!

So, focus on the small improvements within your business you can make, they will soon add up!!

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