Case study: Dealing with the problem of rapid business growth

Business growth sounds good, doesn’t it? But rapid business growth can cause problems — perhaps more problems than you realize. There was a year in my business when I enjoyed rapid business growth. It was awesome! But the next year brought a tax bill that caught me completely by surprise and I spent the rest of that year struggling to make ends meet because most of my income was flowing to the government to pay off that tax bill. I learned my lesson: While rapid business growth is good, you should expect and prepare for challenges.

Rapid business growth brings another problem, as well…

One client in the automotive space had grown rapidly in a very short time. Through new company offices, acquisitions of competition, and a new franchise model, they went from a regional success story to a multinational one in just a few years. Times were good. But one “cost” of rapid business growth is that their customer experience started to falter.

When they were starting out and growing steadily, they were able to train staff and control the customer experience closely, and, in fact, it was that very customer experience that helped them to continue to grow so well. However, once they started opening new offices and acquiring other companies and franchisees, that customer experience was no longer consistent from one office to the next. In company-owned offices, the customer experience might be one way, in franchise offices, the customer experience might be another way, and in acquired companies (especially long-established ones!), the customer experience might be completely different.

This client hired me to help them develop training that could take them to the next level. There were three other challenges that I faced in this project:

  • The company already had computer-based training and web-based training that they delivered to their staff, and that training worked when they were smaller and had more control over each office. But now, their company had grown and out-grown their training, but they still wanted to use some of it.
  • The company was now located in multiple jurisdictions, which changed some aspects of their customer experience based on the laws and business environment of each different jurisdiction.
  • Additionally, they wanted to shore up their income by integrating more sales into their customer service experience.

So here’s what I did to help them…

  1. I outlined the training that their staff needed in order to be up-to-speed with the company’s preferred way of serving customers.
  2. I carefully reviewed the training they had and, when possible, plugged pieces of that existing training in where possible. (Some of it could be used verbatim; some of it needed to be revised).
  3. I wrote extensive new content where their training needs were not being met, providing specific best practices and scripts, as well as integrated sales material.
  4. I worked closely with their team, not only to ensure that it met their needs but also to ensure that the training material was accurate for each jurisdiction they now did business in.
  5. I wrote this content to be deployed in computer-based and web-based training and supported with a manual and workbook.

The company started their training with a single course covering the high-level points that their staff needed to be reminded of. When the project was complete, they had a thorough training package that delivered their must-know information through multiple modules covering different aspects of sales and customer service.

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