New mission statement - and now?
The last two days he spent in a pleasant seminar hotel in a Klausurworkshop. Participants were the members of the management. They had withdrawn from the hectic everyday life to develop a new mission statement.
That was also badly needed after the Company had changed dramatically: outsourcing of production and strengthening of its two core competencies, sales and marketing. That sounds good, Hannes is aware of that. Ultimately, however, it means that most of the business today is done in Far Eastern foreign countries. Here are merely staff departments such as personnel, finance and just the marketing settled.
The mission statement
In the future, five new guidelines will clearly, unambiguously and unmistakably show what is important to the company:
- Our employees are the most important asset.
- Our customers are our focus.
- We take our social responsibility confidently.
- Our finances are on good terms.
- Our development serves our progress and takes place continuously.
That's the yield of the two days. Now it is time to prepare texts for the implementation of the Guidelines in order to discuss and adopt them in a new workshop. Each member of the executive board received a sentence and must present a text proposal by the end of next week. Hannes was democratically assigned "our customers are our focus".
The customer is our focus
He is aware that he has once again taken the most uncomfortable sentence. He goes into puzzling: "For years, benefits were reduced, prices raised, the product range reduced, personal contact persons replaced by a Web-Info-Box and trainees in an outsourced call center in Ireland.
And now he should make it clear to the customers with a few sentences that they are better served than ever. "Well ... it's not up to him to ask philosophical questions, he's in the same boat. The company is under pressure and it inevitably has to follow suit.
To make tangible the concrete customer benefit
"Our customers are our focus". How can one formulate this sentence more concretely? Hannes thinks in customer benefit-oriented formulations. "With our new, compact product range, you have an overview at all times and you save time to work your way through a confusing offer."
It could go in that direction. "With our new Web-Info-Box, you can address your request to us at any time - even in the middle of the night." That's quite an improvement. Consider, in the middle of the night, the customer has a thought, gropes for the smartphone on the bedside table, types in the request and sleeps on. He no longer has to take account of office hours.
In addition, after entering a few days, he has time to look for solutions himself, because until the company finally announces someone, surely the standardized 72 hours will pass. So Hannes is in the next sentence: "Clear standards in the response periods, you can plan your daily work precisely". That means, in plain language, that nothing works for three days. But since this is clear from the beginning, no one expects anything before.
The price increase
Now the reason for the price increase of the past two years is missing. "Thanks to a market-oriented pricing structure, you benefit from a transparent benchmark with our competitors." That sounds good. You do not know what differentiates you from your competitors, but you do not have to discuss the price anymore, because it's the same and agreed anyway. You just do not need to say it.
The mission statement slowly fills with content. Hannes convinces himself: "It is important that a mission statement does not remain a paper tiger, but lives in everyday life thanks to concrete customer benefits and is experienced positively by the customer". He is happy to have created an effective benefit ...
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