Eliminating Waste in Customer Service
Waste is a major problem in many industries, and it can pop up in some surprising places from time to time. And if youâ€™re not prepared to deal with it adequately, it can be very damaging to your companyâ€™s operations in the long run. Thankfully, we have various methodologies nowadays that have been specifically designed to address the problem of waste.
But implementing those in your organization is not a straightforward process, and youâ€™ll have to pay attention to the small details along the way. Otherwise, you risk generating even more waste in the long run, as paradoxical as it might sound.
What Is Waste?
First things first though â€“ what exactly is waste in the context of a companyâ€™s work? In general terms, itâ€™s anything that does not contribute to the positive performance of the system. Waste is more than just a physical definition. An employee taking too long to walk to their workstation is a basic example of waste.
And with customer support, itâ€™s not hard to find such problems all over the place if you just start looking. If youâ€™ve never paid attention to streamlining the operation of your support centers, you likely have a lot of work ahead of you.
Getting to the Root Cause of Each Problem
Every source of waste can be traced back to some specific issue in your organization. The problem is that sometimes the cause of your problem is not close to the results that it produces. It may even be in a completely different domain. With that in mind, you have to develop a good methodology for tracing the root causes of problems in your organization and make sure that itâ€™s applied properly whenever something comes up in your operations.
It will take a while to develop the right mindset for that, but it will be extremely beneficial in the long run as far as the overall performance of your company and its support sector are concerned.
Solving a problem once is one thing, but preventing it from ever coming back is a different story and requires a much more calculated, careful approach. If you want to prevent the reoccurrence of issues related to waste, thatâ€™s even more complicated in most cases. You have to constantly analyze the situation and collect enough data about the way things are working at the moment.
And whenever you notice some deviation from the norm, donâ€™t delay the investigation into that issue. The more you wait, the more serious the problem is going to become behind the scenes, and it might end up affecting your business in some very unpleasant ways later on. When it comes to customer support, this can happen very easily.
Ensuring Everyone Is on the Same Page
Sometimes your employees will need a little extra push to ensure that theyâ€™re properly motivated to help you in your efforts to reduce waste. Not everyone understands the importance of doing this by default, so you might have to reorganize things a little bit to make the situation more appropriate for this kind of mindset.
If you have to, be strict â€“ punish people for not complying with your new requirements and track their progress individually. It might seem harsh at first, but sometimes itâ€™s the only way to ensure that there are no compliance issues in your organization.
Evaluating Customer Satisfaction
Last but not least, youâ€™ll want to make sure that all of this effort is actually producing any viable results. To this end, make sure that you pay attention to your customer evaluation surveys and analyze the data coming in from them in as much detail as you can. Sometimes they can reveal some surprising insights into the way your company works as a whole, but in other cases, youâ€™ll need to do some extra digging to make sense of the information presented to you.
Donâ€™t be afraid to reach out to individual customers with your concerns in this regard as well. People are often more than happy to talk about problems they might be having with your organization, especially when it comes to customer support. And the more you talk to them on an individual level, the more positive their impressions of your company are going to be in the long run.