In order to run a great business, we have to get all of our issues out of our heads and onto paper or of course in a digital document for that matter.
What are issues? Issues are not just problems and obstacles but also ideas and opportunities. Basically issues are anything you have to deal with as a company, as a team to get ahead and make progress.
Keeping an issues list is a discipline. It is not difficult but if it is not yet a habit, it takes some time to adopt this simple discipline. The key here is to get everything out of the brain and visible for the team to deal with it. This alone creates clarity and peace of mind. Now we can use the list and make decisions using the IDS® process to solve or resolve the issues.
This works really well for our own issues, but we can use this very same type discipline to get a complete issues list of all of our customer’s issues, big and small, long term and short term, and the this list is our potential GOLDMINE for identifying new opportunities and new ways to delight our customers.
How does this work?
The first step is to agree that we want to have this goldmine and are recording all the issues that our customers have in one place, in one document. Then one person is assigned to be the owner of the document and everybody in the company should be able to add to this list (either directly or indirectly). Please keep it simple, make the workflow fast and frictionless and use a system, application or tool that you are already using frequently (CRM, Asana, Trello etc.)
Then in the two-day Annual planning session, as part of the EOS® Process, we are going to use this list when we do our SWOT analysis. In the SWOT we look with the leadership teram at all the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for our company within the next 12 months.
It is in this activity that we can apply our GOLDMINE of customer’s issues. In most cases the items on our “goldmine list” will show-up in the opportunities part of the SWOT analysis. This is because a problem for your client can be an opportunity for your business.
Once we applied our goldmine list to the SWOT analysis, it is up to the team decide which items come are transformed as issues on our issues list for the business that will be an important source document to plan the next year.
In this way a problem that a customer faces can actually be transformed into goal or a rock for our business in order to build our own bigger and better future in the process of delighting our customers.
Commit to make it a habit to record the obstacles, threats and concerns of your customer and capture them in your “goldmine.doc” file.