3 benefits of maintaining a sense of order in your business


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Most people like to do spring cleaning; I, apparently, am a fall cleaner. On a recent weekend, I took a deep breath and waded into the black abyss of my childrens’ rooms to try to accomplish a “deep clean” and re-organization process.

Against all odds, I survived.

Actually once the process was underway, it went faster than any of us expected. Not bad for attacking a 9-, 11-, and 14-year old’s rooms. In addition to teaching them a valuable lesson of keeping things organized so that the deep clean isn’t always required, I also learned some other things that apply in helping to attaining customer satisfaction. Here are a few tips about the benefits of maintaining a sense of order in what you do:

1. Maintaining a sense of order makes you feel better. I know the kids certainly feel better about their rooms, and they will spend more time in their rooms when they are neat and picked up.

While your personal “good feelings” are not the recommended primary motivator in the customer satisfaction business, it certainly helps when it comes to the distasteful task of organizing, cleaning, and de-cluttering physical spaces and systems.

I’ve always maintained that there is never a good time to train, because the resources used in training others are typically needed elsewhere. The same goes for cleaning and organizing; there just never seems to be a good time to make this happen. There always seems to be something more important to do. This is why workplaces and systems become cluttered and unwieldy.

But, just like training, maintaining order is equally important. A key aspect of maintaining this order is emotional, and, quite honestly, liberating. Having a workplace and an organization that is orderly and efficient can actually make you feel better about the work you do, and if you feel better about the work you do, you are more likely to take better care of your customers.

2. Maintaining a sense of order helps things stay organized. I find the kids are always more diligent to ensure laundry is picked up and toys are put away when not in use, because the disorganization is more apparent in a clean space.

I can remember when I was growing up that our school shop had a pegboard organizer for many the tools we used in class. The pegboard was organized in such a way that wherever a tool was supposed to hang on the pegs, it had an outline of its shape. This way, if the tool needed to be replaced after use, it was very easy to see where it was supposed to go, since it had a designated spot on the board. Also, if a tool space was still empty at the end of class, we knew which tool was missing and needed to be replaced. The more that things “have a place,” the higher the likelihood that they will be replaced there, ready for use the next time.

Systems are the same way; with constant review, you should only be operating on principles that are currently in use, not outdated information that is no longer valid. Does this take time? Yes. Does it help increase efficiencies to jettison outdated information? Absolutely. This makes the constant review and time worth it.

3. Maintaining a sense of order impresses your customers. I certainly am impressed when the kids keep their rooms in order, and it’s not always necessary to keep the door shut so visitors won’t see a mess. 

When you present a polished and efficient experience for your customer, you will be casting an impression that you are professional and concerned about their welfare. You are adding to the positive reputation of your business, and building credibility for future business.

On the other hand, when things are not in order, it can have a negative effect on anyone having to see a mess.  Have you ever walked into a business, and because of the clutter and disorganization, you were wondering how they ever managed to stay in business?

My wife and I spend time at the Oregon coast from time to time, and one of our favorite pastimes is to visit different bookstores along the way. Last year, we walked in to a bookstore that had been in business for over 30 years, and beyond a doubt, it appeared as if they had continued to buy books each year but not sell any.  It was over-crowded with books piled waist-high on the floor in some places.  The building was in need of repair, as water stains and damaged drywall had evidence of previous roof leaks.  To top it off, wandering through the maze of books were six or seven cats that the owner just let run loose in the shop.

The owner was a very friendly older woman, but it appeared that she just did not understand how her business could have been improved with some basic repairs and organization. She had a great location in the town, and was the only bookstore around for miles; a great opportunity that was not being used to its full potential.

Taking the time to organize can be frustrating, because there never seems to be a “right” time. Don’t let that stop you; put it on the calendar, and then stick to it, and you will find that the benefits listed above will far outweigh any challenges encountered while completing it.

“When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.” – Rodney Dangerfield

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve Martorano
Steve has been on the front lines with customers for over 25 years. He is currently Director of Customer Services for Polygon Northwest, a real estate developer in both the Seattle and Portland markets. Steve is also the creator of ThinkCustomerSatisfaction.com, an online resource designed to provide insights and training to customer professionals across many industries.


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