Posted on October 21, 2008 by Dennis Snow
If you've been reading this blog recently, you know I'm concerned about organizations sacrificing customer service as they cut costs during this economic downturn. My advice is to look at this as a time to solidify customer relationships as your competitors operate in panic mode.
Being a realist, however, I do know that managing costs is critical during tough economic times. So, I'd like to propose something I haven't tried in this blog before; the sharing of best practices from readers.
Here is what I propose - Have a meeting (or series of meetings) with your direct reports with the following agenda item:
"What can our department (division, office, etc) do to cut costs without sacrificing customer service? If any proposal negatively impacts service, let's dig deeper to get to those ideas that won't compromise the customer experience."
My guess is that your team will generate lots of ideas that will save money and not impact customer service at all. Our employees often see wasteful spending but usually aren't asked to point out the waste. Let's get them involved.
After your meeting, either email the cost-cutting ideas to me at Dennis@SnowAssociates.com, or respond via the comments section of this blog. I'll collect the ideas generated and post the compellation. I'd encourage you to send along any ideas you find intriguing, even if you're not sure you'll implement them all. Another reader might benefit from something your group comes up with but, for whatever reason, doesn't plan to use.
We'll see what kind of reader response this idea generates. I'll keep you informed.
Remember - This is about cutting costs without sacrificing customer service!