When businesses are growing rapidly, the focus is generally on revenue and getting more of it, and not necessarily on how you deliver that product or service. This can create large inefficiencies in the daily processes that your team is working on. In particular, growing a business can be like reinventing the wheel as there is no time to go outside and work out how others solve this problem.
It’s been estimated that over 90% of Fortune 500 companies use some sort of outsourcing to assist with their operations. There’s a reason for that!
As businesses grow, processes naturally need to be added and tweaked. Some of these add real value to your bottom line, but some don’t. Many companies claim that their customer service function is a real value-add, but do you have data that proves you actually add customers because of it?
In Six Sigma, reducing variation is principle #2. It’s noted that when planning for Six Sigma, variation is undesirable because it creates an uncertainty of achieving your desired outcome. If the desired outcome you’re seeking is always profitability – then anything that may deviate from that model should be evaluated.
Savvy companies know that in order to grow, more resources need to be applied to products and services that perform. Often, that means weeding out options that may be under-performing. The trouble is, some companies don’t have the data to know the difference. It’s important to develop a process for pulling data on the performance of your offerings. Sit down and take an objective look at how each category is performing, and make a commitment to decrease the offerings that are not up to par in each.
In the final part of our series on customer service, we will bring everything together by looking at the process. Process – how you do things – is critical. You can have the right tools and the right people, but without a clear and consistent process to manage things, you will not be able to deliver great customer service.