What is Process Improvement?
Processes are a series of actions or steps that employees and teams use on a day-to-day basis to guide them in their work. Service providers are highly reliant on processes as processes ensure that services are delivered to customers both consistently and reliably. In essence processes define HOW services are delivered to customers.
Why do I need to improve my processes?
Most service providers evolve how they deliver services over time. This means that processes become out of date making them inefficient and ineffective. Process improvement is focused on bringing the processes up to date and making sure they are efficient and effective and they enable a service provider deliver services consistently and reliably. By improving their processes companies will make cost savings, improve the reliability and consistency, and improve the overall customer experience.
How does HawkCX improve processes?
Process improvement is carried out by firstly reviewing current processes, then designing new improved processes and finally implementing the new processes. The improvement activities are carried out with employees who use and depend on the processes as these are the people who work daily and therefore are best placed to understand what is required. HawkCX leads the whole improvement process using experience and knowledge to deliver the improvements and cost savings.
When do you carry out process improvement?
Companies or departments typically decide to improve their processes in the following situations:
- Customer complaints about quality of service, or lack of consistency;
- Significant outages perhaps unexplained or continuing;
- Customer survey indicates unhappy customers about to defect;
- Need to cut costs;
- Employees or teams complain about processes;
- Process audit reveals inefficient or ineffective processes;
- Recognition that processes need to be improved.
What is the extent of the processes covered?
Usually a group of related processes are selected for improvement, for example service management processes. Also, end-to-end processes such as ‘bid to bill’ are often selected as they involve multiple departments and entail customer touchpoints, which probably offer up customer experience improvements as well as cost savings opportunities.
What steps are involved in improving processes?
HawkCX advocates a three stage collaborative approach outlined below, concluding with the delivery of a ‘to be’ process model with defined roles and responsibilities.
- Assess and Evaluate – information gathering including identification of ‘as-is’ processes. Opportunities captured will serve as an important source of input for potential Quick Wins, the definition of Guiding Principles, and the development of the desired To-Be state.
- Plan and Design – agree Guiding Principles for ‘To-Be’ processes, workshops and the development of the new process flows. Each workshop will be structured to address one business process or a common set of business processes, so the right mix of cross-functional resources can be involved.
- Recommendation and Next Steps – the production of a final report setting out proposed ‘to be’ process model including roles and responsibilities and organisational design.