It’s all over the creative community. Hone that process in. Make it the same every time. This is what's best for you and your client/customer. But what I haven’t been seeing a whole lot of is why this is as important as it is. Why this should be done to benefit everyone involved. And today, I’m going to dig into what a defined process (not matter what you sell/create) can mean for your brand.
Why Have A Process
First, let’s talk the real why. There are several great reasons to have a defined process. Here are just a few.
Time saving. Taking the time to set up an initial system can save you loads of time later. How long does it take you to put together a proposal? How long does it take you to deal with your inventory? Not long right? You think a minute here, a minute there. No biggie. For sure a biggie. For example, spending five minutes trying to remember where you saved that file to everyday adds up. And fast. Check it out.
One week: 25 minutes
One quarter: 5 hours, 25 minutes
One year: 21 hours, 40 minutes
That is a mind blowing full day (almost) in a year. Can you stand to waste a full day? I don’t think so.
It helps create a unique, but consistent experience. Doing the same thing for every situation on a consistent basis leave very little room for error. Less errors means less customer service issues (yikes!) and overall creates a cohesive experience.
Systems are sexy. Yep. Sure are.
But all of this starts with a well curated, defined process that is built with intention. And all of it lends itself to building credibility for your brand.
The Brand Factor
Imagine the scenario that applies to you and your business.
You’re just starting out:
You have perfected that packaging, the product, the overall experience that you want to create and boom. You drop the ball. You don’t include the proper paperwork for you package and it never gets sent.
If you just shuddered, that is an expected reaction. That is not the kind of experience you want to be known for. You thought you had everything on lock. You thought everything was fool proof. So this kind of situation can shake you to your very core. You do the human person thing, kick yourself, want to crawl into bed with a glass of wine, and never come out again.
And that is ok.
You’ve been at this for a while now:
You’ve built a reputation as a solid company. You respect people’s privacy, you don’t send spam, even when you’re launching, and have one hell of an email list. Then some troll from GOMI takes it too far and hacks your Convertkit account.
If you just shuddered, good. That’s a real fear that people have. A real, valid fear. The bigger you get, that more your chance of haters increases. This is not unheard of.
And that’s ok.
See, the beauty in both of these situations is that though things went wonky, you have the opportunity to salvage the situation.
Real World Example
Remember that Starbucks barista that was cloning people’s credit cards in the drive thru? Well when was the last time a Starbucks barista touched your credit card? I know for me, it has been ages.
After this incident in security, Starbucks rose up to make things right and take measures to prevent such a thing from happening again. They installed card readers that don’t require your barista to touch your card and they take it very seriously. I have had a barista (back when this changed) look at me like I was handing her a hot coal when I tried to give her my card to pay.
It was this reaction to something that Starbucks didn’t see coming that was the impressive thing. The three things that they did were swift and effective.
They never let your card out of your sight/had someone else touch it
They made a very public example of the employee
They took the problem very seriously
You can be Starbucks. Mistakes, hiccups, all the other stuff, it all happens. What defines your brand is the process that you use to react and make it not happen again.
How The World Knows You
Isn’t it bonkers how much life and business overlap? No one has a perfect life, just like no one has a perfect business. Sometimes things happen. Sometimes they are out of your control. Sometimes they are in your control and things get screwed up anyway. These things happen.
What defines a business the character of it, just like a person. And even if you put processes in place after the fact, you are stepping up to realize that this thing happened.
Those “Oh shit” moments will happen. Publicly or privately.
Do you have systems in place to deal with this? Let me know in the comments below.