You're reading...
Customer Service, Lean, Process Improvement, Processes

To Be or not To Be; what is the process?

value-waste_processRecently, I helped a client think through the design of one of their service delivery processes. They currently have a heavily paper-based process that involves lots of form-filling and transferring information between various IT systems. The To Be process would make use of a CRM system the client had invested in to support other processes and they recognised there were more IT investments that could improve the current process.

We started the workshop by discussing what the client wanted to achieve; what would success look like once the new process was in place?

A useful model I have used in the past is the RATER model, based on Berry, Parasuraman and Zeithaml’s ’Determinants of Service Excellence’ research.

This can be used to find out how much value people place on the five determinants of service quality:

  • reliability (do they do what they promise?)
  • assurance (do they instil confidence?)
  • tangibles (how do they ’present’ themselves?)
  • empathy (do they make it easy to do business?)
  • responsiveness (how long do they take to do things?)

In this particular case, the key requirements were in the areas of “assurance” and “empathy”. The process had to protect confidential end-customer information and also retain a high degree of face-to-face personal contact between the client’s team and the end-customer.

This was a really important discussion because it set the context for the To Be process design. There were no business drivers to improve efficiency (reliability) or to speed things up (responsiveness). Equally, the tangibles (e.g. templates, forms) used in the process were fixed and couldn’t be changed.

We spent the rest of the workshop designing the To Be process using the Elements process mapping tool.

Had we done a value-add walk-through of the process, it would have been obvious that there was plenty of “waste” in the new design. There were still activities that were, essentially, duplicated and there were steps which were no more than “holding” places to transfer information between IT systems. If the client had wanted to improve efficiency we could quite easily have designed a much leaner To Be process that would have been cheaper to run and faster. However, that To Be process would have really annoyed the end-customer!

At some point in the future, customer needs and views might change, or the organisation might need to make efficiency improvements. Then, it will be appropriate to re-visit the process design. What we ended up with was a process design that the client was happy with and which they knew their end-customers would also be happy with.

Finding out what the customer wants and will value is key in making these To Be design decisions. Otherwise, the risk is that processes simply get automated and customers get annoyed!

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Advertisements

Discussion

Comments are closed.

Connect with Ian Seath

Find us on Facebook Improvement Skills Consulting Ltd. on LinkedIn Follow IanJSeath on Twitter

Archives

Copyright Notice

© Improvement Skills Consulting Ltd. and Ian Seath, 2007-18. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Improvement Skills Consulting Ltd. and Ian Seath with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: