What the DMV Can Teach You About Business Systems

Jan 2, 2014, Written by Sue Miley

Recently, I lost my driver’s license. I was hoping it would show up in the laundry or something, but no luck. So, I am sitting in the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a new driver’s license. I know – not anyone’s idea of a good start to the new year.

I have been putting off going to get a new driver’s license for fear of the chaotic, ridiculously, inefficient lines and process. I was actually anxious about it.

You can’t imagine my surprise and excitement when I walked in and someone greeted me with an automated, computerized sign in. (I had to look around to make sure I was in the right place!) After signing in, a big digital sign on the wall kept you informed as to when your turn was coming up.

“It may or may not be faster, but I have so much more confidence now,” I thought.

In actuality, it was much faster. My anxiety never returned. I didn’t have to get ugly with any workers. I didn’t have to stand for 30 minutes. It was like a new year miracle!!

The efficiency, order, speed and predictability was a vast improvement over their reputation and my past experience. But, the thing I noticed the most was how much my confidence increased the instant I realized that they had a system.

5 Reasons Good Systems Inspire Customer Confidence

I am an ENFP. We are terrible at maintaining systems. But we can be great at coming up with them.

I think systems are really important even though they can be a challenge to create or maintain.

Systems help us build our business because:

  1. They help us be more accurate and consistent. The idea behind a system is to have repetitive processes that works.
  2. They help people know what to expect. Most people want to know what they are getting into. If they see a process it helps them understand their commitment of both time and effort. Or in making purchase decisions, they know what they are getting for their money.
  3. They help us to improve because we can see where or what in the process isn’t working well. By definition there are steps in a process. By isolating separate steps you can determine where a process is breaking down and just fix that portion.
  4. They help us go faster. The repetitiveness and consistency of processes help us to practice and get faster at what we are doing without losing effectiveness.

But, most importantly…..

  1. They inspire customer confidence. Just the presence of a system builds confidence in the process and makes your customers feel more relaxed and happy.

Are Systems In Place For Your Business?

I am sure you want your customers and clients to feel the same way I felt at the DMV today relaxed and full of confidence in your ability to do a great job and/or offer a great service.

What systems can you add to your business this year to improve your customers confidence in your business?

Reader Interactions


  1. Kenneth says

    Great post and it’s so true that if you want to scale up, speed up, or just start up, you have to have systems in place and be measuring the results.

    It’s so funny to see how fast you can start something in business and never take the time to make sure that you have systematized the process. What we like to say is, “systems run the business, and people run the systems” if your business is not running, you have NO systems.

    Thanks agoin the reminding us all to think in terms of “systems.”

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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