03 Sep Why guess when you can know?
Not “knowing” is not only a risk but also is a huge and unproductive source of anxiety. Whether it’s personal or in business, not “knowing” impacts our emotions, performance and our behavior. On a personal level, lack of knowledge strikes fear into our souls whether it’s financial security, relationships, career paths or our health. In business, not “knowing” what your employees, co-workers and customers really think about you and your organization can measurably impact satisfaction and the bottom line.
Fortunately, there are professionals who can take away the mystery of not “knowing” and help set a path to reach your goals. For example, a certified financial planner can help determine how much money you really need to retire and if it will be enough for the rest of your life. Your doctor can schedule that 50th birthday celebration (the colonoscopy) and determine that you’re clear of cancer or detect it before it gains steam.
In business, the power of “knowing” is immeasurable yet too often takes a back seat to getting the day’s work behind you. All this angst and opportunity recently was brought to mind in a conversation with Bruce Wildes of LMC Group (ListenMoreClosely.com). Wilde’s firm helps organizations understand and leverage customer experiences, attitudes and desires. LMC can identify the good, the extraordinary and the horrific within your hard-won revenue stream (customers) and clearly identify options to leverage the good and correct the imperfect.
Why? Customer retention should be the end game for everyone who serves and sells. The cost of customer acquisition can take months or years to show a profit. Also, the power of satisfied customers giving positive referrals creates a pipeline of new activity and revenue. On the flip side, a dissatisfied customer can rain on your parade and disperse the crowd that might otherwise be coming to your door or portal for products or services.
Let’s talk about risk management and insurance for a minute. “Knowing” is our business and “knowing more” is our competitive advantage. The insurance business is a great example of minimizing risk and providing for the unexpected. We have legions of actuaries who calculate and worry all day about the likelihood of how often and how severely accidents happen. It allows us to provide risk control services where they make the greatest impact and risk transfer (insurance) to restore damage should you have a claim.
For instance, actuaries can tell you with clear hindsight that teens are the most accident prone and likely to die behind the wheel. They can’t tell you if it will be your teen but they can peg the numbers with some unsettling accuracy. That’s why we have driver’s education (knowing) and hours of practice (experiencing) before we unleash our teens onto the roads.
“Knowing” also has value is the realm of improving your employees’ experience in the workplace, according to Wildes. Employers should not take for granted that people are satisfied in their work. Using an outside consultant can help gauge employee satisfaction as well as productivity. With that knowledge, owners and managers will have better insights as to how best to improve communication, morale, innovation and creativity – the foundation of high performing organizations.
Knowledge is power so no matter which side of the paycheck you endorse at your place of work, you have a stake in knowing what’s happening in the organization, the industry, the market and the community. The key, of course, is to put that knowledge to work. LMC uses a quote from Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric:
“We only have two sources of competitive advantage: The ability to learn about our customers faster than the competition, and the ability to turn that learning into action faster than our competition.”
That’s one of the reasons Clark Insurance touts its motto “We know more so you can worry less.” The more knowledge we gain and put to good use, the better off all customers and employees will be. So, in your organization, why guess when you can know.