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Your customers can accelerate your operational efficiency journey

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One way to differentiate your business is by understanding what’s important to your customers. Customer feedback not only allows you to gauge satisfaction, but also to reflect on the efficiency of your operations.

Start with your customer

You need to get continuous feedback from your customers.

Your client feedback process could be formal or informal—via emails, surveys or phone calls. Choose the best way depending on what your client prefers. The benefit of a phone chat is that there’s two-way communication; it’s more spontaneous and based on trust.

Remember to gather customer feedback at the right time—not too early, not too late—to be able to have a complete picture.

Build a culture of continuous improvement

Extend your efforts to improve customer experience to all areas in your company. You need to continuously improve your processes, tools and your employees’ skills to provide a better customer experience. Analyze and use the feedback to find out what went wrong with a product or service.

Streamline your processes. It is important to take the time and reflect on how things are being done in the organization.

  • Do you have a standardized and streamlined process for fulfilling your customer orders?
  • Are your employees well-informed and fully trained on how to complete each task?
  • Do you have the appropriate tools and checklists?
  • Do you have the right level of quality checkpoints in your process?

Measure what matters. Start measuring what’s important for your customers. Identify operational metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which will drive your customer experience. The KPIs could be for improving your costs or quality of products or services. For example, most call centers use FCR (First Call Resolution) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) as their KPIs to monitor customer experience.

Enable your processes using technology. Invest in technology to provide an enhanced and consistent customer experience. For example, do your customers prefer receiving email invoices over paper copies?

Focus on continual improvements. Empower your employees to solve problems and share their ideas to create better value for your customers. When you build a culture of continuous improvement, you set the stage for future growth by offering better value to your clients

Knowing what’s of value to your customers will help you in planning and prioritizing incremental improvements in your operations. Remember, operational efficiency is a continuous journey focused on your customers.

It’s not one call and done

Improving your company’s operational efficiency is a continuous process. Make a human connection with your customers and then start improving your customer experience and your internal processes to give them maximum value.

Let’s say you have been able to gather customer feedback. How can you tie this information to create value in areas beyond operational efficiency?

The right level of customer feedback can help you sell other relevant services or introduce new products or build stronger customer relationships. By understanding what’s important to your customers can help you enhance your core competency and differentiate yourself.

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