“Minding your own Business” – Improving customer service

People need to be empowered to make their contribution to the business that they are part of, rely upon in terms of security of tenure, and in fact may have dreams of one day having an ownership stake.

“Minding (y)our Business” (MYOB) is a training programme designed specifically designed for the Franchise Market to improve the ‘sharp end of customer-service delivery’ by everyone in the value chain. The programme engages everyone in the Franchise Value Chain in a process of ‘thinking about our doing’ so that we take greater ‘care in how we are doing’. By ‘doing’, we mean ‘delivery of service excellence’ in line with the brand promise. MYOB includes a practical and user friendly toolkit that assists business managers in improving the performance of their business through frontline staff engagement and skills development. The focus is on setting a benchmark for frontline employees who interface with customers, whilst taking the nuances of the specific market into account.

M(Y)OB is based on the concept of “levels of work” and an appreciation that all levels within a Franchise Business Model need to be part of introducing best and new practices within their areas of responsibility. The interdependent roles and the collective effort of the various players to create service excellence is the focus of this programme. The only difference, however, is that the conversation that each level would have differs in relation to the nature and complexity of the work that needs to be done.

About the Programme

The MYOB programme is structured around a series of conversations (call these workshops or meetings) that the manager plans with his/her frontline ‘customer service teams’. These conversations become a forum for improved communication, problem solving and decision making and planning within the business unit. The purpose is to engage the Customer Service Team to ‘think’ about why it is important to ‘mind (y)our Business’ and constantly ‘think about, plan for and take action on how we can become better at what we do’. Instead of imposing best practice it encourages the co-creation of best and new practice in an ever-changing environment where competition is the order of the day and only the fittest survive. The Pygmalion approach is to instil a sense of self belief through effective engagement and participation in finding better ways to improve the performance of the team of people whom they work with.

What outcomes you can expect from M(Y)OB

  • Redefine the way in which Franchisors work in collaboration with their respective Franchisees in ensuring a highly effective and efficient service delivery.
  • Align effort with an idealised future state that is ever-changing.
  • Empower all levels in creating best and new practice. ‘Creating the future whilst addressing the present needs’.
  • Encourage self-directed goal setting and performance evaluation and so reduce time and effort spent on managing. A toolkit for every level of work is provided which is a guide as well as a record of ongoing review and commitment.
  • Provide a sense of ownership, belonging and an appreciation that collective input and effort determines output and the extent to which everyone benefits.
  • Presenting the opportunity for everyone in the Franchise Value Chain to benefit by ‘being the change’ rather than ‘adapting to change’

What’s in a name – MYOB explained

Most business people see themselves as ‘running a business’ or ‘doing business’. The experience of running a business speaks of constant activity. At some point or another, all the running and doing results in a sense of exhaustion. Running and doing are physical activities. The business of business becomes a perpetual experience of busyness. But whether one is running a business or doing business, we have to think about what it takes to keep the business running and what we are doing. In order to think about business, one has to have a mind for business. So we speak of someone as being business-minded. This means that one has the ability to think about business and is able to think in a business-like fashion. Yet, we do not hear of business people describing themselves as ‘business minders’. The reason for this may be that we associate ‘minding one’s business’ negatively. When people are told to mind their own business, it usually means that they should keep their noses out of someone else’s business. It’s not their concern. But ‘minding your business’ can have a very positive meaning.