If a company finds itself in a position where customers always insist on speaking with the owner directly instead of an employee, it might be time to shift the company structure in order to improve the value of the business.
Here’s why: a business that can thrive without the owner at the center of operations is more valuable because processes can run smoothly with or without the owner. When an owner is too stuck in the weeds they become too vital to operations and employees don’t have the opportunity to learn and grow.
How to Take Steps Back
To maximize the value of a business, an owner should set a goal to quietly slip into the background and let the staff take center stage. Here are five ways to make customers less inclined to request direct communication with a company’s owner:
If the bio of key staff members is displayed on the company website, re-order the list so that it is alphabetical rather than hierarchical.
If a surname is in the company name, consider a re-brand. There’s nothing that makes a customer want to deal with the owner more than having the owner’s surname featured in the company name.
Hire a President
Giving someone the title of president conveys the message that they have real authority to solve customer problems.
Use an Email Autoresponder
Set up an automatic response when traveling or attending a strategic project and unable to answer questions immediately. This can train customers to direct questions to the person best suited to answer them quickly rather than only directing them to the owner.
Take note that continuing to answer customer emails after setting up an autoresponder could be perceived as just trying to hide behind an autoresponder, which could diminish credibility. If one is set up, it’s important to be ready to let others step in.
Having the kind of business that customers visit in person can also have the owner more visible and allow clients to direct their interactions towards them. Setting up a home office allows owners to spend more time away from their location and can offer fewer distractions.
For a hard-charging A-type entrepreneur, the steps above can be complicated and feel counterintuitive. They may even have a short-term negative impact on a company’s sales. But once customers are trained to go to the team, the owner will then be able to scale up further and ultimately maximize the value of the business. The Anders Business Transition Planning Services Group can work with you on a personalized plan to help make transitioning your business easier when the time comes. Contact an Anders advisor to start the process.All Insights