Canadian Lawyer InHouse

April/May 2021

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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Page 39 of 43

38 FEATURE Growing your business means evolving beyond merely reacting to what your competition is doing, writes Darrell Hardidge IF YOU LOOK at high-performing businesses, you'll notice that they actively plan into the future. They're always clear on what they want. And their strategic plan is clearly documented. Every successful company is proactive in their thinking, and they don't leave anything to chance. Most importantly, they don't assume they know; they seek assurance from their customers to ensure they are on track. They can assess how accurately they are predicting the future, and this is always linked to their current business metrics. However, many businesses fail to develop a strategic plan. They are mostly reactive to what's happening today, this week, etc. and focus more on their competition. Number-one companies follow the mantra "obsess over your customers, not over your competitors." They proactively look at how to keep adding value to their customers and how to ensure they give their customers a brilliant service experience. They focus on team training and mentoring to ensure their team always can deliver high standards of customer service. By contrast, most companies in reactive mode continually focus on what their competitors are doing an end up in a price war, How to be proactive, not reactive trying to outdo each other to win customers. The problem with this reactive approach is that it's challenging to stay focused on your own game because you keep getting trapped in someone else's. The only thing you can control in a competi- tive market is what you do internally to ensure you deliver service excellence. Trying to control and outwit your competitors is a risky and expensive game. Lead your market If you focus on doing everything you can to be proactive in the way you deliver service excellence, you will automatically be ahead of your competition. Most are too busy focusing on what everyone else is doing, rather than being strategic on what they're doing themselves. One key reason is that they don't have any quality data to know what's going on. At best, they have a vague opinion. As W. Edwards Deming said, "Without data, you're just another person with an opinion," and we all know what that's worth. Knowledge is power Being strategically proactive ensures that you have a game plan and measurement to know if you're on track. With the correct KPIs, you can measure how well you're fulfilling your prediction. There's a metric that we call the "one number theory." It's at the centre of meas- uring everything that's going on in your business. A very accurate customer experi- ence measurement provides a clear reflection from an independent market perspective — that is, the true voice of your customer. The only thing you can control in a competitive market is what you do internally to ensure you deliver service excellence

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