Customer experience is a top priority, its one of the main things that creates a successful organisation. - Is this statement correct?
Is it not true that customer experience is merely a priority? Customer experience is far more than that, it defines an organisation; it is what happens in your organisation after a customer has started their interaction. It is as fundamental a thing as you can define.
If you get it wrong and do not align yourself well with the customer from the start, then you are always simply trying to catch up with the customer - any spending time and resources doing it. Get it right, and things get alot easier. If you delegate customer experience to simply a priority, then think again. Tell-tale signs your organisation is making this mistake would be customer feedback reports landing on your desk. Those reports should be focusing on learning about customer workflows feedback.
So, if you want to sort your organisation operations out, and have a good efficient and effective customer workflow, start with the initial customer demand, and align your organisation from that point on - cutting out the barriers to a good flow.
The evidence is proven when working with organisations with a contact centre. It takes a day or so to gauge how effective the customer facing staff are at aligning your customer to do business with you. Then, the next day, the impact of the whole organisation workflow on the customer can be measured. In may contact centres the measurement of wasted work is 20 - 40%.
This is then a very good time to have a conversation, with evidence, about where to start improving your workflow. And technology is not the saviour, you leadership decisions from this point forward are.
From a methodology perspective its not about smiley faces, and questionnaires. this is about seeing an organisation as a system, and then responding to this knowledge with systems thinking leadership - which is surprisingly easy.
One of the organisations I am working with, a local council, has just done a small trial to test out different ways of taking calls. Originally they have calls, coming from a call centre, going into various departments - depending on the nature of the call.
So, the trial was getting wardens - that normally go on the streets and fix problems, to answer the calls. They also tried this with admin staff from the office.
Over two weeks, they found out one really important thing; that the wardens were able to understand the actual problem the caller was calling in for. In this system Over 50% of calls that come in a not exactly what the caller originally presents. So, a call for reporting a problem with noise, may actually be a neighbour dispute problem. So the wardens were able to have a good conversation to get to the heart of the matter.
When they tried to get cheaper admin staff to take the calls, they were not able to understand the calls in the same way. Almost all of them had to be passed on to others to resolve.
When the more expensive wardens take the calls, what does a manager think who has to cut further costs in the system? It is too easy to replace the wardens with admin staff.
The reality is that the wardens were able to resolve 25% of the incoming calls on the phone, without the need for passing on to anyone else to schedule a visit. For calls that they did not resolve there and then, the information was recorded and passed onto a warden, who then had a good understanding of the issue, to resolve the problem. Armed with this information, what decision would the manager now make?
Usually, using a functional model, the manager would hire cheaper staff to staff the phones. Making decisions based on functions, cutting across the workflow work, sub-optimises the flow, and the wrong decision is usually made. This result demonstrates that by understanding the work flow as a system, end to end, results in good information to make better decisions.
Get cheaper people in to staff the phones - it will reduce our costs
Maximise the value work when taking a call, and monitor the result
This is an example of systems thinking.
Helping others to do better things