I love my job. That might already be clear from articles that I write.
There’s good reason - every day is like solving a Rubik’s cube. However difficult a situation is, I know there’s an answer. The solution is right there in front of you - you just need a method to work it out.
There are 42 million million million combinations of Rubik’s cube. But aged about 10, I was given some instructions on how to solve the puzzle. After some learning, I was able to complete the cube in about 2 minutes.
I find solving process-flow issues in contact centres, processing centres or service systems just like solving the Rubik’s cube. These organisation rarely involve rocket-science - most send bills, fix customer queries, chase money - but many I see have tied themselves in a knot and ended up with service in decline, backlogs forming, and the teams struggling to get on top of things. But I always know the solution is in there somewhere.
If only there was a method to apply to solve this puzzle.
Good job that there is then:
- What’s the purpose?
- What is the customer demand?
- How we are dealing with customer queries?
- What’s stopping us dealing with issues right-first-time?
- What are the root-cause issues?
- Why is the customer unhappy?
- Why are there backlogs?
- How many times is the customer contacting us?
- How many touches are there to resolve the customer issue?
- Who’s measuring the backlogs?
- What does the backlog look like?
- How long does it take to resolve the issues?
And of course, don’t forgot the people and the management:
- Are the leaders in the work, understanding how the work works?
- What’s stopping them doing that?
- Are they focussing on and prioritising the customer journey?
- Are they looking for ares of waste and rework?
- What measures are they focussing on?
The Systems Thinking approach, when applied to the service industry, soon highlights the real issues, surfaces where the waste work is being undertaken, and where rework and unnecessary customer contact is coming in.
It’s not complicated - when you’ve got a method.