The idea of repeat business sounds so clear cut: customers electing to return for more work, often needing something the same or similar, and all wrapped up in an established working relationship. It might therefore seem like an opportunity to roll out more of what worked previously, and in some circumstances, this is exactly what the customer wants. However, even with pure repeat business there is a process of checking and challenging that must happen to ensure the customer gets what they need.
Take our SiteSentinel online worksite induction solution, which we’ve successfully rolled out across numerous rail sites – depots and more recently stations. The structure and benefits stay largely the same, yet the content often contains significant differences – additions, subtractions and points of emphasis. It all depends on the nature of the site and its associated risk.
As consultants accepting repeat business, the benefits of already knowing an industry are huge. We can make good use of standard industry phrases or acronyms in site induction content, confident that induction users will be familiar with the terminology. For example, the rail industry ‘HOT’ protocol for assessing the risk of an unattended object: Is it Hidden from view? Is it Obviously suspicious? Is it Typical of what one would expect to find in that area? We can use this across different site inductions safe in the knowledge that all rail employees will understand it.
Repeat business also means that as consultants we become more and more familiar with our customers’ policies and procedures; making us adept at knowing exactly when and where to cite them for maximum impact in site inductions. By supporting our clients across multiple different sites, we are also efficiently and effectively communicating company-wide policies across the organisation – helping to develop awareness, support uptake and increase consistency of implementation.
However, the real benefits for a customer comes from a consultant that doesn’t make assumptions when undertaking what looks like a repeat job. Just because one site paints its safe walking route yellow, doesn’t mean they all will – even if they are all part of the same company. For many of the rail companies we work with, every site is different, and if we make assumptions, we risk making mistakes.
Therefore, for each site induction we develop, especially when it’s repeat business, we remain actively curious. We ask questions, we don’t jump to conclusions and we never assume we know the answer just because of what we did at a neighbouring site. It’s only when we’ve completed a thorough assessment that we begin to carefully add or remove content from the induction programme to ensure it reflects each unique site perfectly.
If you get it right, customers will vote with their feet. Having implemented SiteSentinel across a range of train operating company sites, Arriva Rail London, East Midlands Railway and Greater Anglia are just some of our customers that have returned for more site induction development at different sites in the last six months… which is no small achievement considering the last six months we’ve all had!