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Strategic Leadership: Adversity to Advantage

Post Categories: Expansion, Growth Strategy

Ever wonder what a glass of lemonade made out of lemons looks like? When your company is getting pounded by a slow economy, how do you come up with a win-win solution that saves you money and makes customers happy?

Just ask Dina Dwyer-Owens, CEO of The Dwyer Group and author of Live R.I.C.H. (which stands for Respect,Integrity, Customer Focus, Having Fun), a book describing their company culture. The company manages 1,600 franchisees in the consumer services and repair industry, including Mr. Rooter, Mr. Electric and Glass Doctor among others.

Ms. Dwyer had to deal with double-digit declines in businesses that were previously regarded as “recession-proof.” They realized they needed to be smarter about how they operate.

“One of the best examples of being smarter is a new tool called Service on Your Schedule. If you are a customer and need to schedule a service call for Mr. Appliance, you can go online at www.mrappliance.com and look at the schedule of the franchisee in your market and schedule your own appointment at your preferred time. You will get a picture of the technician that will arrive at your door along with a confirmation of the appointment.”

While others were cutting costs and reducing their labor pool to save money, this solution improved communication with customers, put them in charge of the schedule that worked best for them, improved customer confidence and security about having people arrive at their door AND saved money. A perfect example of converting adversity to advantage and harnessing hardship.

Know of some other examples you would like to share? We would like to hear them!