Saturday 1 December 2018

Understanding Customers: the first step in process improvement

A process improvement is used to identify, analyze and improve existing processes in the organization to meet new goals and objectives. Actually it is an active task to identify, analyze and improve existing business processes within the organization for optimization. As well as to meet new quotas or quality standards.

Many sources of information can help us determine where products, processes, and areas need repairs and how far these improvements will be made. Will raising the on time delivery performance from 90% to 95% satisfy our customers? Or do we have to try to increase it to 99%?

Does increasing the volume consistency of liquid soap from 100 ml ± 10 ml satisfy our customers? Or do we have to make it as accurate as 100 ml ± 1 ml?

All of these questions can be answered accurately by the company, but some are answered based on the intuition of the team in the company. Is that wrong? Not. But for if customer satisfaction is something very crucial in your industry, then knowing directly from the source, that is CUSTOMER itself is the right starting point.

The steps for process improvement are:

Process Improvement is a systematic approach that can be used to make incremental and breakthrough improvements in processes. Learn the most common myths about process improvement and discover how to bust each myth and maximize the effectiveness of your processes.

  1. You must know who your customers are

    Yes, it sounds simple, but many companies that we have met have failed to expressly have the same perception of who their customers are. Horizontally, customers can have more than one, whether the dealer, whether the sub-dealer, is the retailer, what is the customer, and what is the consumer? Each will have different expectations. Vertically, consider whether you need to segment. Not all customers must be treated equally, and of course this is because the expectations of each segment can and will be different.

  1. Identification of the voice of the customer.

    After you know horizontally and vertically who are the main priorities of your customers. Then you must be able to identify the voice of customers. You can do it not only through direct interviews, but also in the form of questionnaire media, focus groups, observations. Other ways can also be information such as benchmark results, industry-expert, secondary data, customer complaint data, even information from your customer service representative. Do clarification for each voice of the customer, because the VOC can be very unclear for example 'this coffee shop is uncomfortable', which actually means 'the process of ordering coffee is too long'.

    Also remember that you need to be able to distinguish which are basic requirements and which are only features. Basic requirements must be met, features are optional. This returns to your business capabilities and strategies.

  1. Translate VOC into requirements

    This element is also important, how we translate VOCs that are generally not measurable, become something clear and measurable. For example, for the process of ordering coffee too long, we must be able to find out from customers (or other relevant and valid sources of information). HOW MUCH in the minute the order ordering process will make them satisfied. Is it 5 minutes? Or is it not waiting at all?

  1. Validation of customer requirements with business requirements

    Everything returns to your organization, will you try to exceed all customer expectations? Do you have to be concerned with the costs that will arise by trying to fulfill all of them? You can of course speed up the process of ordering coffee that is 10 minutes to 5 minutes. But for example you have to invest in a new tool or higher staff competency or a new presentation system and so on. You must be able to find a balance between your business requirements and your customer requirements. Business requirements generally arise from the company's strategy and capability.


Process improvement skills and understanding why this soft skill is so important for your career advancement?. By doing the 4 things above. You will be able to determine what you need to improve and how far you have to make the improvement. Where it will be well align between customer requirements and business requirements. The correct process improvement is if this can satisfy your customers and business.

No comments:

Post a Comment