Most smaller businesses do not realise that they can have a business that is agile, too often, these businesses have structured their business operations on what they understand of larger company structures.
- You can rapidly adapt or change practices and differentiate customer experiences.
- You can build deeper relationships, create loyal customers and deliver personalised superior customer service.
But only if your processes are built around your customer.
So, what do I mean by this?
In many organisations, process design has traditionally been managed sequentially. Only after committing time, does the business find out if its product or process is the right one for the customer. This is too slow and does not incorporate customer feedback early enough in the design.
- Outsource to multidisciplinary teams
- Co- create using high-impact processes
- Learn by iteration and re-releasing designs quickly
- Initiate real time direct customer feedback
You must have the motivation to create superior customer experiences and the insight of what is possible. Then create the process keeping your supply chain and your people agile with customers at the centre of your business aspirations.
More businesses are able to do what you do! With fast-track product development, advanced software techniques, and the ready availability of digital channels have made products ease to commoditise. This is the reason why the battle for competitive differentiation has shifted from the product to the customer via the process.
You must treat your Customers like a valued business partner with a seat at the table having a two-way conversation. Otherwise what’s the point of listening to your customer if you are not going to be accountable to them too. There are many ways to gather feedback from your customers, Surveys, Focus Groups, Observation, Point of Sale, Customer Service, Social Media, Communities and Groups, Email and Web Forms. If you are going to get feedback, act on it, nothing destroys trust more! Make sure it’s clear that you want your customer’s feedback and that your business truly values them as partners within your business.
Why Failed Processes Have a Severe Backlash That Hit Profits
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, failed processes and not dealing with their reasonable requests do have consequences:
- United Breaks Guitar is reported to have cost United Airlines $180 million instead of $1,200 the cost of the guitar. Watch the video
- United Airlines shares hit turbulence as passenger backlash grows
With consistent process reviews and continuous improvement, designing and implementing customer-centric processes that make doing business with your company easy for customers. It requires established businesses to embrace innovative ways of working, then the payoff is compelling.
Characteristics of Customer-centric Processes include:
- This includes making it easy for customers to complain, remember that complainants can become your most loyal ambassadors if you embrace the complaint, value the feedback and manage the process to implement change.
- Competitive advantage is achieved in technology and processes advancement, which requires investment in time, people and money. Processes must be simple, seamlessly delivered and designed from the customers viewpoint
- Rather than ask “how is operations going to implement this?” It is a collaboration between functions, marketing, operations and along with your customers. Through collaboration you can deliver 100% solutions
- It is important to check on customers` perceptions of your product and service levels at each touch points, your perception can be far removed from what your customer experiences. So, identifying your gaps!
Agile Processes Help Smaller Companies Win-out Over Bigger Businesses
Because of the ability to:
- Maximise agility by rapidly adapting and changing its practices.
- Negotiate through direct working relationships with their supply chain so cutting-out the middlemen and management levels so increasing flexibility.
- Hasten production and co-creation due to their supply chain personal relationships.
- Develop and use personal relationships with customers so creating loyalty and competitive advantage.
- Gain immediate customer feedback and implement product innovation with speed.
It is critical to invest in the right areas to adapt to the preferences of busy customers. Large companies are less responsive to consumer changing needs, smaller businesses must recognise their ability to be agile is a major competitive advantage. Larger companies must adopt a customer-centric business model wholeheartedly if they are to adapt the level of agility needed to compete for the customer favour.
You must be transparent to build trust and alert customers to large or small-scale changes whether good or bad. In customer-centric business processes the customer preference, experience and relationship is paramount. Your processes are there to help you follow through on your word and follow up on your promises. Your processes create the competitive advantage for your customers.
You can watch many more video recording on my YouTube Channel theproblemsolvertv1