I’m a numbers and efficiency guy. I want to objectively show improvement. But there’s more. Like being customer centric.
With a lot of the training I do, I primarily focus on enhancing processes and procedures. We determine what’s important and how can we make it better and more efficient.
Usually, I flowchart the existing process and use a simple value-stream map approach to see what improvements can be made where. I gather a team of those involved and develop a documented process and procedure. Then, I train others so the processes become consistent across the business. We revisit in three months or so to show actual results and see where we can make additional improvements. This simple method works very well, but I usually just focus on the process/procedure I’m dealing with.
As I think of growth and progressing companies though, we need to also focus on the company’s overall vision and how can the business be customer- centric in every way.
All business owners have their visions and dreams, but others in the organization rarely consistently see it. Many of the business I work with don’t even have a written plan. The owners says he has a plan and points to his head. “It’s all right here.” More on that later.
As we train on process and procedures throughout the year though, put these practices in place.
Continually communicate the company’s story.
All businesses have a story. Everyone in the organization should know the company lore and the vision/dream/future.
Ask and discuss customer-focused questions:
• Why do people buy from us?
• What do we do differently from everyone else?
• Why do people buy from us and not the other guys? What makes us unusual and unique?
• What do our customers care the most about? (It may not be what you think.)
Determine what are the primary tasks we need to focus on.
How do those tasks relate to those customer’s needs?
Companies, organizations, medical and law practices, etc. need to be completely customer focused to keep their current customers and grow.
Every process and procedure needs to be customer focused–right down to the invoice. Watch for more on that in the future!