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Waste a big cause of lost biz revenue

July 26, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Wasted time, wasted talent and wasted steps don't add to the customer service experience and, in a world where businesses don't get a second chance to make a first impression, efficiency becomes Job One.

That was the message sent by Phillip Swearingen, president of Lean Operation Consulting (LOC) Group, who was the guest speaker at the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Business Leaders luncheon last week at Herons Glen.

Everyone has customers, and the last thing you want is bad feedback, especially these days with social media. The key is to find customers and keep them.

"Sixty percent of your customers are ready to leave you, but 60 percent of the customers of your competition are ready to leave them," Swearingen said. "Uncontrolled processes will keep you behind. The market wants timely, stress-free encounters."

Uncontrolled processes can be the biggest thing that holds back your business. People need to know their roles for the sake of their customers. Swearingen said 82 percent of customers would not go back to a business if they had a bad experience.

Customers value quality, service and punctuality are the key, Swearingen said.

"Deliver an experience the customer values. The ones customers really value is those that go over the top, doing things they don't have to do," Swearingen said. "Make sure every step is valuable."

That means making sure there's a reason for every step, making sure it's lean. It's about controlling your resources and making sure it gives you the outcome the customers wants.

"By reducing waste, you can create more value and make that extra call," Swearingen said. "Look at the process involved and take extra steps out to create value. If it doesn't enhance the customer experience, talk about getting rid of it. Unknown processes create delay."

If each step is 90 percent reliable and you have four steps, the process is only 66 percent reliable. By removing a step, reliability increases to 73 percent. By asking the question of whether a step is needed, you improved the business.

This builds agility, which can build up to 30 percent more value and revenue to the business. It also adds consistency, the less variation, the better the customer experience.

Swearingen said that through "standard work," by giving people detailed instructions and training on what they have to do, it makes the process more efficient. Also, the workers need to be flexible in roles so they can step in if needed.

"I need to get that experience where it's top shelf every time, but we're not robots, it allows for personal interaction and what appropriate behavior is," Swearingen said.

Workers must also be efficient. Checking Facebook and e-mails can waste up to 30 minutes a day, and if your worker is making $22 an hour and have 15 employees, that adds up over a year.

"Time is money. Your time is worth something. You build a process that will delight customers and maybe get a referral," Swearingen said. "Take a look at getting getter or get beaten by the competition."

 
 

 

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