There are No Shortcuts


Cuts in inventory, staff numbers, service standards and training are coming up short, particularly in the prevailing economy and marketplace.

Initiatives that save money are proving to be false economies.

At all times one is, and should be, in business to make money. That requires investment.

Cutbacks are having widespread impacts on images, reputations, competiveness, behaviour, relationships, loyalty and staff morale.

Automation of processes, including telephone answering, on-line interactions, service enquires and at supermarket checkouts, is impacting on consumer perceptions, selections, preferences and satisfaction.

And interestingly, much of the professionally structured and conducted attitudinal research is highlighting the resultant deficiencies, loss-factors in sales, competitiveness, relationships and profitability.

Sadly, deficient, poorly designed and administered quantitative surveys are asking the wrong questions and, not surprisingly, are eliciting the wrong, if not misleading answers.

Disturbingly, too many management teams seem unaware, ignorant of the damage which is being inflicted on their operations and standings by a regime of cutbacks.


In the absence of on-going training, development, monitoring and refinement, staff members tend to take shortcuts. In many instances, they are following the lead set by business owners and leaders who are driven to save costs. Customer-centrality has been re-prioritised.

To enhance and grow investment in people, skills, processes, systems and communication are imperatives.

Cutbacks inevitably lead to disconnection, and with it relationships, repeat business, loyalty and referrals are compromised.

Put simply, there are few cutbacks that increase sales, profitability, customer satisfaction and staff morale. They can, and do, result in companies taking “haircuts”, – short-back-and-sides.

Barry Urquhart
Conference Keynote Speaker
Marketing Focus


Barry Urquhart, MD Marketing Focus, Perth, is the author of Australia's top two selling books on customer service and is an internationally recognised authority on consumer behaviour and creative visual marketing.

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