There are a lot of people who start each day with the intention to treat every customer just as they would like to be treated. Their goal is to provide excellent service, but something happens from the time they show up to perform their job and they have their first opportunity to serve a customer. They run head on into systems and processes.
Even the best employee has difficulty delivering service if they can’t get a product ordered in the computer system or if the accounting system produces incorrect invoices. A smile will only get you so far if the customer does not get what they pay for.
So what do you do if your systems and processes are standing in the way of your organization providing excellent service? Consider the following steps to get things in line.
1. Process analysis: Make a list of your key processes and systems that support your work. In this list, identify the following fields:
- Process name
- Internal or external (does the customer directly see the system or interact in this process?)
- Grade (A, B, C, or F) where:
- A = Process is efficient and supports excellent customer service
- B = The process works fine the majority of time, but falls short on occasion
- C = The process needs significant improvement and often is the cause of customer issues
- F = The process is broken or non-existent
- Priority (A, B, C); this is a measure of how critical this process is to delivering excellent customer service
- Frequency (identify how frequently this process is used: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, as needed)
- Key users (who are the key internal or external users of this process or system?)
- Related processes or systems (what other processes or systems depend on the results of this process or what needs to be completed prior to this process running?)
- Issues (document the problems or challenges faced with this process)
2. Improvement plans: For each process that did not score an “A” in the analysis phase, create an improvement plan. Start with the lowest grades and highest priorities. The improvement plan should contain the following elements:
- Process name
- Key issue being addressed
- Target implementation date
- Point person responsible for seeing that the plan is completed
- Plan details (document the steps that must be taken to bring this process to an acceptable grade)
3. Tracking document: Plans are no good if they sit on a desk and are never fully implemented. Create a tracking document where you can post the status of each improvement plan.
Delivering excellent customer service in a very competitive environment is difficult.Want a professional to review your processes and systems to ensure you are giving your employees every tool possible to serve your customers in a way that keeps them coming back?