“Voice of the Customer” – VOC in short – is a key topic in all kind of customer service, TQM or Six Sigma training and related project work. There are two main categories for VOC data, reactive and proactive. Proactive data is collected with methods like focus groups, interviews, observations, surveys or test customers, whereas reactive data is mainly based on customer complaints, feedback, hotline data or warranty claims. The nature of the human being restricts itself almost always to negative comments through reactive data channels. Continue reading →
Habit 1: Know Your Customers and Their Voice
‘Ting’ is a sophisticated traditional Chinese character (Figure 1) that exemplifies the most important activity related to customer service in an impressive way: Listening. The old Chinese already knew that when listening with your ears you better treat the speaker as a king, focus wholeheartedly with 100% attention.
Only by doing so you learn about your customers’ requirements, the mentioned ones and – often more important – the unsaid. Continue reading →
When I joined General Electric Capital fifteen years ago, I asked them why they would hire an engineer with no banking knowledge. The answer was quite surprising: “We have enough people who understand banking. Unfortunately, we do not have those with a process mindset.”
Assuming, the world of banking must have changed since then might be a mistake. Here is a snapshot of just some months of recent banking experience. Continue reading →
Your staff members complain about having too much work, the proportion of people on short-term sick-leave is consistently above average and the turnover rate is disturbingly high. Do these symptoms indicate that you need to increase your staffing? However, the average number of daily transactions processed shows that your staff should be able to easily handle the volume. So, what is the problem? Continue reading →
A team spends months on improving customer-facing branch processes of a bank. After benchmarking with sister companies across the world and after carefully mapping out process steps they come up with an improved flow that drastically reduces the processing time for branch customers. It surely looks like a nice success story. However, they get devastating feedback from the customers whilst piloting the solution in five branches. Why? Continue reading →
New undertakings or experiences are always challenging at first. This is no different when Schenker Singapore (Pte) Ltd, a transportation & logistics company, decides to embark on something new like Lean Six Sigma. It might seem to be even more demanding at the outset since the number of 3rd party logistics providers rising to this challenge is very limited. Best practices in this industry are not widely spread and hard to come by.
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A typical Friday evening starts with a family dinner in a nice atmosphere. This time we decide to visit one of our favourite restaurants for a light dinner with Sushi. Upon arrival we are amazed.
Usually, this place is packed on a Friday evening. Today, more than half of the seats are empty. Therefore, going in and taking a seat at the conveyor belt is very easy. Before the waitress has a chance to approach us we have taken some plates with Sushi already. Continue reading →
Everyone, undoubtedly, has had the unenviable honour of experiencing ‘bureaucratic government processes.’ Be it applying for your first ID or passport, to initially obtaining a driving license and the inevitable dealings with the tax man. Judging by the time it takes and the “milestones” or number of departments one has to go through when dealing with German government bodies, the processes behind ID, passport or driving license must be highly complex and are usually being done by constantly overworked people.
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Nearly all medium-size and large companies spend hundreds of thousands or even millions on customer surveys every year. Customer survey results are being used to amend strategies, design new products and services and focus improvement activities. Gathering customer survey data is only the first step. The second step involves making best use of the expensive data, analysing them, drawing business relevant conclusions and making important decisions. How are we doing in this step?
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