Reliability. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word reliability?

Especially when dealing with a new vendor or sales person who declares themselves reliable?

The Webster Definition of “Reliability” states 

1the quality or state of being reliable

2the extent to which an experiment, test, or measuring procedure yields the same results on repeated trials

re-LIABILITY

Reliability

Reliability typically means quality, efficiency as well as strong customer satisfaction.

However, here is a wacky thought.

Did you ever notice that reliability is spelled with LIABILITY?

Seems odd, right?

If you reload something, you are loading it again.

When you rework something, you are working on it….again. A second time.

Reinstate, reinstall and restore are all synonymous with returning to power.

Yet, if you claim that a company strength includes reliability, are you saying that you are a liability…..again?

Just a random observation.

Reliability vs Uncertainty

Anyway, in this outstanding article from the Harvard Business Review, Sense and Reliability, the author uses terms such as stable, secure and predictable to describe reliability.

Other terms that come to mind include consistent, dependable, and predictable. Reliability is a quality measure of your products and services.

Becoming unreliable creates uncertainty. Like that friend or relative that backs out on you at the last minute. All the time.

Understandably, customers typically do not appreciate uncertainty. The same goes for most markets.

For example, have you been following the stock market lately? The stock market has been fluctuating on a wild ride due to the uncertainty with foreign trade and tariffs. Actually, do yourself a favor and ignore your retirement statements during these turbulent times.  Check out this article: “For the 2019 economic outlook, don’t watch the stock market, watch the Fed”.

At any rate, when it comes to companies that we heavily rely on for certain services, the more boring the better.

Boring = Reliability 

We could state that boring = reliability.

Do you prefer boring and modest stock market growth as opposed to the wild ride as of late?

Over the long term, the results typically wind up the same. We just endure stress and heartache during rough patches to offset periods with steady stock market growth. Especially since 2008.

Another example, when you grab a coffee at your favorite spot, you expect it quick with the same quality as the day, week and month before.

Otherwise, you are taking your business elsewhere. Coffee lovers mean serious business. A bad cup of coffee for coffee addicts can ruin an entire day.

A timely and pleasant cup of coffee saves the day allowing you to focus on tasks at hand.

Thus, Boring = Reliability.

Is Your Business Boring?

Is your company boring?

In other words, is your company reliable, stable, and predictable?

How do your customers rate your reliability?

Do you deliver quality and consistency?

It takes years of practice to become good enough that you become “boring”, thus reliable.

Yet, being boring does not equate to avoiding risks.

As entrepreneurs, diversifying and pursuing growth opportunities are essential for success.

Perfecting a process and then scaling that process opens the door for healthy growth while maintaining your reputation of reliability.

The goal? Create customer relationships so stable and secure that your customers view you like their utility company.

Utilities & Reliability

Think about the number of services in our lives that we completely take for granted.

Yet, when one of these services fails, all hell breaks loose.

For example, how on earth did we ever survive without the internet?

Just sounds primitive, right?

No social media, email, eCommerce or any of your favorite websites.

When the internet goes down, seems like our lives come to a screeching halt.

No internet? Now what should we do?

We also take other basic utilities for granted.

It’s great when running water and electricity work properly.

Ever experience a single evening without water or electricity? It really goes beyond an inconvenience. Right?

Serving customer needs as seamlessly as the internet, running water and electricity seems like a successful strategy.

Just ALWAYS be prepared for your customer to flip the switch or turn the nozzle. It’s then showtime!

However, that’s much easier said than done though.

Striving for Reliability

Stay in your lane. Focus on what you do best. When you branch out of your lane to diversify and seek new opportunities, exhaust your due diligence. Take risks that make sense and more importantly, make cents.

Lastly, below includes several suggestions to help build a culture of reliability:

  • Commit to continuous improvement
  • Embrace change and new technology
  • Listen and learn
  • Pay close attention to customer feedback
  • Take corrective actions
  • Keep a close eye on cash flow and profitability
  • Educate
  • Train
  • Dedicate your team to satisfying customer demands

How important is it to build a team and culture dedicated to customer satisfaction and reliability? Check this out.

The classic business book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick M. Lencioni opens with these words of wisdom:

“Not finance – Not strategy – Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare. A friend of mine, the founder of a company that grew to a billion dollars in annual revenue, best expressed the power of teamwork when he once told me, “If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”

What works best for your company in building a culture of reliability?

Wrapping It Up

Thank you for reading our post. To learn more about Falconer Electronics, check out these helpful links below:

 

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