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Crisis or Opportunity? What your business can do about processes

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is leaving individuals, families, businesses and economies reeling. The number of new infections and deaths is in general, increasing, which has, in most countries and states, resulted in a shutdown of everything but non-essential services. Unless the industry you’re in falls in the latter category, you’ve probably had to shut down all or parts of your business – your people are working from home or not at all, customer counters are manned by skeletal staff (which could very well mean you), your factory is shut or production is very low, you’re taking client meetings online – whatever is needed to keep things running on one hand, and to keep safe on the other. This article is for you if wondering if you’re doing enough or if you’re concerned that you won’t make a comeback when the crisis is over.

What can you do about processes and quality management as you wait for this situation to unfold and pass? There are many things you could do; we will focus on these three.

1. Understand Your Customer Experience:

One of the opportunities this pandemic presents is the chance to think about how your work for your customers gets done.

  • How happy are your customers with the methods you’re using to serve them?

  • What errors, if any, are you making when serving customers?

  • How regularly do you have to repeat work that had already been done for a client by another operator?

  • How many times a week do you have to take action to salvage your business’ reputation or client service?

  • How often do you have to handle complaints?

  • Who has stopped buying from you? Do you know why?

Answering these questions could point you towards some of things you could do better in your business to improve your customers’ interactions with you. You can understand what’s really going on with customer experience by mapping all your customer touchpoints.

You may discover that there are new ways in which you could serve your clients, ways you hadn’t explored before the crisis. For example, one of our clients is interested in us continuing the project we started with them before the coronavirus hit. So, we’ve set up online meetings to discuss project milestones as we work on the activities that both of us have been tasked with on this project.

Once you identify new methods, document them, share them with your teams in preparation for using them.

2. Staff Engagement:

During times of crisis, people need to know they can trust their leader to get them through the crisis. If you’re a business owner or team leader, one of your key roles in this time is to reassure your people. Do not allow them to feel isolated. You may not know how long they’ll need to be away or have restricted access to the office and clients, but please share information with them. Let them hear from you rather than from another source. Once you know what’s going to happen, help them move quickly to that next state of affairs.

3. Document or Review Your Processes:

If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to document your operations or review the documents you had created, now is a great time to do it. What you want to do is check that your internal activities are improving customer experience. These two things are tied – customer expectations and organisation activities. Where the latter is not aligned with the customer expectations, you will notice complaints or lose customers or both. That’s why this article started with customer experience. Line up everything you do to focus on your customer.

The thing about this or any other crisis is that you can thrive; you can come through it if you bear down, decide the outcomes you can pursue and go after them. These are my top three. What are yours?

This article was written by our Processes & Quality Expert Rosslyn who is the Managing Director of Top Tier Consulting that works with individuals and teams who want to simplify work, increase productivity and amplify profitability.

If you have any feedback or inquiries write to him via this link >> Email Rosslyn

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