A breakdown in business process can have a huge and significant impact to your customers. If the following symptoms sound familiar it is time to act now because it means your customers are talking about you in a negative way and your competitors are rubbing their hands with glee:
- Customers complain that there is not enough collaboration
- Customer facing staff are continually embarrassed when products/services cannot be delivered on time or as promised
- Customers leave your organisation for the new kid on the block
- Customers are confused about your process
- Customers do not have a sense of a clear product/service offering
Reputation can be lost incredibly quickly. If your business processes are not satisfying your customers, your reputation will not only suffer externally, there will be impacts to your culture driven by reaction and stress as customer’s needs try to be met.
Whilst internal efficiency is important, if we don’t have happy customers, we won’t have an organisation worth working in. It is time to ensure that your future processes are redesigned.
Below are 4 steps to understand and address customer dissatisfaction.
Map your current process from the perspective of the customer, from the time they enquire about your product/service to the time they are sent your invoice. Capture their complaints as well as the time and cost it takes to deliver to their expectations as part of each process step.
Create your ideal customer. You may have a number of these. For example, the retailer, the distributor, the government representative etc. On a large piece of paper capture their characteristics (age, sex, position, their needs, their expectations and what is really important to them in a service provider) Then, on the same page capture their frustrations.
Design the future process with your customer in mind and treat them as a virtual stakeholder sitting as part of the team that designs the process with you. Meet their expectations, play to their characteristics and minimise their frustrations. Even better, if you can invite several customers to be part of your process workshop you can incorporate their feedback directly as part of your improvements. Document the customer touchpoints and documents that will ensure the level of communication that the customer expects.
Once your future process is designed advise your customers that a new process is being implemented to address their valuable feedback and ask for ongoing commentary and participation over the next 12-18 months. This can be delivered in the format of surveys, testimonials, staff engagement, making them part of formal communication cycles, innovation thinktanks etc.
If done properly your business can only grow, your staff will feel proud to work for your organisation and most importantly, your customers will feel engaged, connected to you and helping you actively build your reputation in the marketplace.
Interested in chatting further? Don’t forget, the coffee is on us!