So whether you are a start-up or an established company, you need to keep your costs under check to ensure maximum return on investment and increase customer satisfaction to improve sales figures but the moot question is how do you achieve that?
The piece of the puzzle or the key to reducing cost and improve customer satisfaction is — let your departments talk to each other.
Yes. You heard it right. Your various departments have to talk to each other more often formally and informally to ensure right product/product feature is shipped.
Start-ups are generally small in nature and agile in the initial years hence they have fewer people and efficient process of communication between various departments. I am sure any start-up will have at least product development, design, sales/marketing , customer care- it is really not necessary to have thousands of people in each department as the count of people depends on the size of the organization however what is important is that even in two-person start-up company all these departments must be there and divided among each of you
Imagine a product development is made purely on the basis of market research (which may go wrong as well) without consulting the natural design flow of the user. Imagine customer care receiving complaints about product features/tastes / etc but the same complaints have not been passed on to the respective department.
On the one side, you might keep marketing your product without knowing whether the issues reported in your product have been taken care by your development team or not?
In this age of social media and rapid technological changes – it is imperative that you as a company collect feedback from your customers and pass on the feedback to respective department to be worked upon
Since we startups are small and agile in initial years, it will be very easy for them to ensure collecting feedback and work upon it before communicating it to customers
When it comes to established companies – you have huge head count of employees with various hierarchies of various levels which ends up adding delay in communication as everyone is more focused on process set by internal teams
What are the challenge/barriers currently faced by companies to improve customer satisfaction and reduce cost?
- Too much focus on marketing of product
- Too much focus on more number of features for the product
- Only collecting tons and tons of data without ensuring actionable data is worked upon
- Not listening to customers real issues
- Defending your product without proper investigation
- Over hiring
Well it is very common that above mentioned issues do happen with startups and established companies as both of the segment have their own momentum in which they operate and the momentum sometimes makes things vague and unclear for founders/ceo’s to focus on reducing cost and improving customer satisfaction
What can I do to reduce cost and improve customer satisfaction ?
Well the key here is to ensure that each of your department talks more often to each other . You as a founder/ceo/management of the company have to build platforms, process to ensure they talk to each other . Here are some points to consider
- Define process for each department ( try to create flow of communication in a way your product functions ) to collect feedback from each other and store at a common place
- This common place ( say a central repository ) will not only have a different segments but also that are the list of feedback along with plan of action , dependency and timelines
- Depending on size of the organization – set frequency of meeting top executives of each department of not all . Weekly or fortnightly is more advisable
- Keep meeting time short and always have agenda ( feedback ) ready before the meeting starts to ensure time is not wasted during the meeting
- Have a specific person jolt down points at central repository discussed in the meeting on real time basis
- Depending upon the plan of action and time line set based on mutual discussion – have one specific person assigned in each department to verify and follow up whether the required action has been completed or not
- As a owner/ ceo ensure you do spot checks or random checks of this central repository and ask tough questions to defaulters
- Recognize and reward best teams on monthly or quarterly basis
- Have customer obsessed culture in your organization and it starts from founders/ceo
Setting up process , assigning specific individuals and having strong and regular follow up on feedback shared with each departments is key to success in improving customer satisfaction and reduce cost
What is your take ? how do you reduce cost and improve customer experience in your company ? Share your views/suggestions via comments at below comment box
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