I currently work at one of the top leading financial institutions of the world. It can be compared to a Walgreens, due to how many locations we have. Recently in class, we discussed what is known as the SWOT analysis. Majority of companies create their own SWOT analysis to determine where they stand amongst competitors.
Three months ago, my financial institution has changed its focus from selling aggressively to the customer to primarily focusing on improving our customer service skills. Our district manager informed us that our bank has undergone some changes due to the fact that we are on the same level as our competitors, rather than surpassing them. As a branch, we disussed our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of our team.
We concluded that our strengths were the products we sold and how each of them varied to fit the customers needs. We also had another strength which was brand recognition. Customers already knew of our company and what products and services it had to offer, without the need of advertising it so much. When it came to discussing our weaknesses, opportunities and threats, the three coincided with one another. We realized in order to stand out from the rest of the other financial institutions, we had to change our attitude. Meaning we had to become more personable with our customers. We needed to become more open and more friendlier than before. Our bank was so focused on making profit that we forgot about how we should treat our customers. Our branch manager guided us by giving us tips on how to offer the best customer service. As the months passed by, we have received many letters and emails sent to our manager telling him how amazing our staff is. With this, came an increase in referrals. Since our customer service was booming, customers came back more and more, and in return they opened more accounts and referred family and friends.
Overall, I believe that if a company were to create their own SWOT analysis, they can benefit greatly. They can improve tremendously just by tweaking with a few things. All in all, customers should be the main focus at all times. A pleased customer equals a great sale in the long run. A company should always find ways to outshine its competitors, and the SWOT analysis is a great tool to use and it benefited our company positively!
Do you believe that in order for a company to be successful, management should include all the staff members in discussions on how to improve the company overall, rather than just have the upper management brainstorm?
3 thoughts on “Changes for the Better”
Dounya, I think that it is very important to create a team work environment in a company. People feel a part of a company when they are engaged. They feel happier, willing to cooperate and commit to business more. My personal experience shows that the job can turn to “9 to 5” when an employee is not engaged. However, the job can become a part of employee’s life when he/she is fully engaged.Therefore, I strongly believe that the management should engage all the staff members in decision making process whether it is in a company-wide or department level. Gallup research confirms this idea by pointing out that:
“In world-class organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 9.57:1.
In average organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 1.83:1”.
I definitely think it is important to get feedback from all staff members when making decisions about how to improve the company. Upper level management doesn’t have the benefit of seeing the same things as your managers on the front line do. They don’t have as much, if any customer contact. Customers leave feedback with the in-store managers, as their first attempt to express concerns about their dislikes or to offer feedback on what they did enjoy. Everyone in the company should offer suggestions on how the company can and should be run more effectively. It is the upper management that takes those suggestions and determines what is in the best interest of the company.
Getting the “buy-in” from the staff on the front-lines is a crucial component to creating a successful strategy that will improve operations. The staff knows the operational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats better than upper level management at times and can provide great insight to how the business can improve. It also helps improve morale and motivation which can sometimes be half the battle for upper management when making changes.
Having said that, I have seen initiatives fail because they are not supported or backed by upper management or the executive level. Overall, depending on what changes need to be made and what the organization goals are, sometimes it’s more beneficial for a top-down strategy and other times a bottom-up, collaborative strategy.