There are business processes so simple, they could be squeezed onto a Post-it note. However, they can still be greatly optimized.
Try to remember your last visit to a boutique with clothes, shoes or any other accessories.
How was it? Was there a warm welcome? Some pleasant eye contact and a kind greeting from the staff? An offer to help or consult with you on your needs? Was it an overall good experience or were there awkward moments?
Or try to visualize your experience when you enter your favorite café:
Is there any acknowledgment of your presence from the barista when you enter? What happens when you approach the bar or sit at a table? Are there any visual cues or tips to enrich your experience? A suggestion about what coffee to try this time perhaps?
Entering a boutique or a café are two good examples of a micro business process — too tiny to be managed in the formal fashion (e.g. using checklists), but too important to be left untouched.
Micro processes are those actions that we repeat in every business frequently, often without giving a second thought to whether or how they could be improved. That’s wrong.
If you greet customers many times every single day, it is of the utmost importance to think deeply about how they could perceive and react to each detail or suggestion from you.
How would you develop such a micro process to perfection?
Simply by training yourself, or your staff. You may also write it down and go over all the steps once every month or so. But you need to train yourself and try hard, over and over again.
You can record the whole training on a video to analyze it later. You can employ mystery shopping techniques to test your staff under real conditions. You can also hire a consultant to dissect your micro process down to its smallest parts or to build it anew from a scratch.
It is also useful to observe how micro business processes are used elsewhere. Few small cafés manage theirs, but if you go to Starbucks or McDonald’s, that’s a totally different story — these venues are fully processed down to the tiniest details. So watch out for good examples and you’ll be surprised how bountiful they are.