According to Help Scout, most businesses only hear from 4 percent of their dissatisfied customers and clients. Yet, 78 percent of customers have not made a purchase due to poor service. That’s a lot of customers who aren’t buying from you or using your service, but you don’t know about it.
Most likely you have some processes in place. They might not be well-defined or documented, though. If you have an inefficient process, that can be as bad as no processes at all whether that’s for customer service, billing and accounting or onboarding new clients. It can lead to customer complaints, frustrated employees, wasted resources and increased costs of doing business.
Mapping Your Current Processes
To streamline or implement processes in your business, it’s vital that you first map out the current processes you have in place. Even if they are fragmented or not written down, they should be investigated and documented. Mindtools.com suggests using a flow chart to understand how your processes work. It maps out the processes visually to show the steps involved in each process. This shows where breakdowns are taking place.
When documented in a flow chart, you can see exactly where each action step takes place. This will help identify the problems. You’ll have to sit down with employees or managers and map out the process you currently have to see where it breaks down. It’ll make it easier to implement new ones.
Part of mapping your current processes is analyzing the problems that occur. It’s important to ask why the problem occurred, but to also dig past that initial answer to the deeper issues. The initial cause of the problem might be that orders are being shipped late. When digging deeper to the root of the issue, you might find that it’s because you need to start ordering supplies from a new vendor.
Creating the Flow Chart
Flow charts have symbols that help to identify the next steps. The start of the process is an elongated circle with the word start inside it. From there, rectangles are the next steps or tasks in the process. Diamonds with arrows are used to identify decisions to be made. For example, if the customer is asked a question, the next steps will vary based on their answer.
These are a few examples of some symbols to be used. The flow chart should be customized for your processes and business. They can be used to standardize the process as well as communicate that process to others in the company too. Once the flow chart is completed, it can be distributed to those in the company who need it like customer service representatives.
Workflow software can easily map the processes in a way that makes sense especially if the systems are complicated. Their software can map out the length of time for each step too.
Review the Process and Hire a Consultant
Many businesses believe that once they communicate the process to employees, it’ll work perfectly. That’s rarely the case. Keep an open line of communication with employees about how the processes are developing. There could be unforeseen problems that will only appear in a real-world trial of the process.
You might also need to change existing systems, which could involve buying new software or hiring a consultant. This consultant can be hired for as long as needed to implement the new changes. It pays to be on the lookout for resistant employees too. Some employees don’t like change because it makes them uncomfortable. It takes some time to get used to a new way of doing things.
Before you can implement changes, you will need to train and educate employees on the business process you’re about to implement. It might be a slight overhaul of a current system or one that is entirely new suggested by the consultant. Training and implementation are two of the most important steps to creating lasting change and a streamlined company. Business automation works with any kind of company from gyms to dental practices to mining companies.