Develop the Magic Touch
Best of Success Seminar: Steve Little
Steve Little, president of KPost Company in Dallas, shared the successful strategies his company uses in a session titled “Implementing Your Company Culture for Maximum Results.” His commercial contracting firm, which was founded n 2004, was on a roll — until the economy tanked. “We lived the boom of ’05, ’06, ’07 — but we hit the wall in ’08,” Little said.
The company vowed to “get back to the basics with regards to customer service” while still maintaining $25 million in sales in a down economy. KPost implemented its Touches program in order to get there. Little noted the program got its name from the increased effort to “reach out and touch” its business clients and other industry professionals — in person. They set a company-wide goal to interact with customers 6,800 times over a 50-week period.
Every employee at every level of the company — sales, estimating, service, operations, management, president and CEO — was required to make a certain number of in-person calls on the company’s customers. Records were kept on everyone’s performance. Key to the strategy was finding opportunities to “break bread” with clients by meeting them for meals or delivering doughnuts or bagels to their offices.
“We got back to the basics,” said Little. “Our goal was to use a personal touch that incorporates the company’s culture and employees’ personalities into the relationship, versus mail, phone, texting, tweeting, fax or Internet. We wanted to make a difference — be memorable.”
Another part of the strategy involved stressing topics that matched the company’s culture. At KPost, they define their core values as safety, quality and value, and they emphasized things like the company’s low insurance modification rate; company and employee awards; and high-profile and award-winning projects.
“Tell your clients what you’re doing,” Little advised. “It separates you from the other guys.”
Little said the results of the Touches program speak for themselves, noting:
- In 2010 KPost had a 20 percent increase in sales to $30 million.
- KPost’s service department increased business 52 percent from December 2009 to December 2010, averaging a 56 percent gross margin.
- Over that same period, KPost web portal business doubled to over 250 properties with annual or biannual inspections.
“Most importantly, we increased our Dallas market share,” said Little. “We did it because of our people, and we did it because we got our asses out of the office. We shared the same goals. We were all singing from the same hymnal.”