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How We’re Streamlining Front-End Processes to Enhance Customer Experience

Patrick Sondreal

Followers of SpeakingDIRECT may recall my post from April detailing the changes we were testing and implementing on our front-end workflows. The project focused on where we could improve internally to increase efficiency to help enhance the customer experience. Our goal was to see where we could simplify processes, reduce queues, and enhance quality in what one of my colleagues describes as a “tsunami” of higher complexity and shorter lead times. Now that we’ve had some time to test, rework, and plan, we are set for an October 1 rollout of our new and improved front-end system.

As a former Naval officer, and in keeping with the tsunami theme, our project plan is built to roll out in waves. The first wave is the launch of our newly developed, robust training program for all stakeholders. As I described in April, our pilot team embraced the responsibility our teams feel for our clients’ end product and pulled out all the stops to develop a process that enhances the speed and accuracy of our customers’ campaigns at every step.

The project teams leading this effort will be participating in our rollout training sessions to document issues and engage appropriate leaders and teams to solve any problems, as well as ensure issues are resolved in a timely manner. As evidenced in the pilot, this means we will be able to actively address issues as they appear and find solutions quickly, efficiently, and effectively.

Account Analysis Helps Us Meet Client Needs

Customer service is not a one-size-fits-all practice, because our clients’ needs differ based on vertical market, the internal and external resources required, program frequency, and complexity. That’s why our development process included looking at each account individually to determine what resources are needed, what workflows make sense, and what (if any) special processes need to be in place to allow each mail campaign to run smoothly for each client.

System and Tool Changes Drive Improvements to Enhance Customer Experience

The new system and tool changes we are implementing in this rollout enable better visibility to work coming in, allowing us to start production planning sooner. The end result is less duplication of effort, better system standardization, and cleaner, tighter information provided to all teams throughout the process. The new processes and workflows will improve how work is sequenced, how information is entered, what resources are used, and how change management is performed.

In particular, instructions are becoming standardized, and we are removing hand-offs by utilizing standard screens. This standardization creates visibility to the work and a universal way to deliver information to downstream teams.

What to Expect

One of the most exciting changes we saw in the pilot was improved product quality resulting from instructions being correct on the front end, with standardized detail and clarity as others pick up and continue working downstream.

There are many variations of the quote attributed to Peter Drucker that you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Based on our yardstick for the pilot, we are anticipating the full rollout to provide better accuracy, improved communication flow, enhanced customer experience, and smooth sailing in calm seas.

Stay tuned for more updates on our front-end workflow process improvements by subscribing to SpeakingDIRECT today.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2018/09/21/front-end-process-enhance-customer-experience/
Patrick Sondreal

Author

Patrick Sondreal

Director of Client Services, Continuous Improvement and Lean. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison with an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. Commissioned officer of the U.S. Navy who brings a commitment to teamwork and continuous improvement to IWCO Direct every day. Wisconsin Badger fan who loves being part of his kids’ activities.

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