Objectives 3/27/12. Process Improvement: The Customer is Not the Problem. Rosa West PhD, MBA, LMHC, LMFT. Westcare Wellness & ConsulHng, LLC

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1 Process Improvement: The is Not Process Improvement: The is not the Problem Rosa West PhD, MBA, LMHC, LMFT This product was supported by the Florida Department of Children & Families Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Office funding. Objectives I. Identify key organizational issues in the change process II. Actively involve customers on change projects III. Survey and educate customers about new improvements IV. Assess the likelihood of success in undertaking change projects O The most important factor in process improvement O Most predictive factor in determining successful change O You must walk in the shoes of the customer repeatedly 1

2 Process Improvement: The is Not You must: O Assume you do not understand the customer s problems O Assume you do not understand what they need Why Should You Care? O Times have changed: O s have escalating and evolving needs O Competitors are delivering on these demands O If you don t, you will be out of business O s are more informed Why Should You Care? O Business Case: O Dissatisfied customers usually don t complain O Dissatisfied customers usually do defect O Dissatisfied customers tell everyone they know O Dissatisfied customers encourage others to defect O Result --- lost business..forever!! O Build a Bridge to Understanding the O Come from behind the desk and consider what it s like to be a customer in your agency O What s it like to come in the front door? O What s the intake process like? O How are calls received? O When you look from start to end of the treatment process you can begin to understand how the customer feels 2

3 Process Improvement: The is Not O Take time to involve the customer O Get the customer s reactions O Seek their advice about making improvements O When you know and understand the customer you can make improvements that best serve them Identifying the O Not all s are the same. Identifying the O Important to segment or differentiate your customers O Use existing data to facilitate this process 3

4 Process Improvement: The is Not Identifying the O Segmenting means to sort customers into groups based on similar characteristics Identifying the O By identifying and tracking customer segments over time O Allows understanding of the differences in customer groups O What they like - what they don t like O How to tailor service offerings to better meet needs of each group O Determine which segments are most profitable to target and retain O Determine which segments to deemphasize Identifying the Involving the O Use data to determine: O Type of services used O Quantities of use O s organization O s function O Other demographic variables: O Location O Type of business O Schedule of Services O Conduct Targeted Interactions: O Existing data may not measure what matters to the customer O Important to take time to measure the right things Involving the O Targeted interactions allow you to learn more about your customers: O First review data from prior steps O Look at additional sources - complaints O Develop list of questions O Go talk with customers O Be open to whatever they want to discuss Select Appropriate Measures O satisfaction: O How well are we meeting needs and satisfaction? O How well are we meeting specific performance criteria? 4

5 Process Improvement: The is Not Select Appropriate Measures O Market share: O Proportion of business in market that you provide to customers Select Appropriate Measures O Market share: O Ex. Combination of percentage of market for variety of services O What percentage of services are provided per County in comparison to State? O What percentage of services do you provide? Select Appropriate Measures O retention: O Do you maintain ongoing relationships with customers and retain their business? O acquisition: O Rate at which you attract new customers Select Appropriate Measures O profitability: O Net profit of a customer segment accounting for unique expenses to support that customer Selecting Appropriate Measures O Data needs: O Collected O Transformed O Analyzed O Summarized O Displayed Selecting Appropriate Measures O There is no one right measure O Be flexible to change measures 5

6 Process Improvement: The is Not O THINK before collecting customer data O Collection may be time consuming O Collecting data from customers raises their expectations O Only collect the amount of data you can analyze and respond to in timely fashion O Garbage in = Garbage out Methods O Existing Data Existing Data O Financial data, ordering data, delivery data, complaints data O Steps to using existing data: O Select appropriate data O Define data into measures O Determine manner in which data will be computing into information Advantages of Existing Data O Easy to gather O Doesn t require involving the customer O Often viewed as objective or real O Can be summarized over time O Allows quick review of current situation O Typically used to convince management that something needs to change 6

7 Process Improvement: The is Not Disadvantages of Existing Data O Quality of the data may be poor - not recorded in consistent fashion O Data may be incomplete O Extraction of data may be time consuming O Not collected with analysis in mind O May have limited usefulness Methods O Observation Observations O Simple to do O Great reality check on how things really happen O Very useful to understand new features, amenities you could provide Advantages of Observations O Yield real time data O Provide understanding of context O Outsiders can be used so data has little bias O See things that escape notice in general course of work O Access to information people may not want to discuss in interviews Disadvantages of Observations O Can be costly if have to train observers O Limitations due to people s concerns about anonymity and being observed O Presence of observer may influence process O Can be hard to code and analyze Methods O Interviews & Focus Groups 7

8 Process Improvement: The is Not Interviews and Focus Groups O Difference: O Interviews are conducted with individuals O Focus groups consist of multiple participants O Good for collecting qualitative data: O Information not readily categorized and coded O Explore why customers feel they way they do Interviews and Focus Groups O Questions are usually open-ended in nature O Let customers respond in their own words O Provides insight into customer perceptions Advantages of Interviews/ Focus Groups O Allow flexibility in data collection O Can gather unexpected data and ask unplanned questions O Provide more complete customer perspective O Facilitate communication and customer relations O Useful for generating ideas for improvement O Allow for problem-solving during the actual meeting Disadvantages of Interviews/ Focus Groups O Require skilled interviewers or they can backfire O Produce results that can be difficult to analyze and interpret with assistance O Can produce biased results O Social desirability or peer pressure (focus groups) can be influential O Surveys Methods Surveys O Doing a good survey is NOT simple O Obtaining useful information requires skill and practice O The method (e.g. doing a web survey) is just part of the process O Need to consider issues of anonymity and confidentiality 8

9 Process Improvement: The is Not Surveys O There is no magical number of questions O Response rates are key to evaluating surveys -- how their data can be used O Don t do a survey unless you plan to act on the results Advantages of Surveys O Used to gather large amounts of data quickly O Permit anonymity - thus honest feedback O Use sampling techniques to minimize bothering customers O Provide results that generalize to larger population of customers O Data can be summarized and analyzed using statistical tests Disadvantages of Surveys O Not as flexible as interviews/focus groups O Raise customer expectations that things will improve O Low response rates and nonresponse bias can lead to faulty conclusions O Data gathered may not generalize to larger population O Expensive in terms of development, administration, analysis Gather and Analyze Data Gathering Data Gathering Data O Pilot test data collection tools O Determine dates and locations for data collection O Publicize data collection effort (if relevant) O Start data collection period O Collect the data O Provide follow-up reminders if applicable O End data collection period O Enter data into the appropriate information technology (IT) system O Check/transform the data as needed O Analyze the data and product summary graphs, charts, tables 9

10 Process Improvement: The is Not Discuss Findings Discuss Findings O Data is not worth anything if not reviewed for findings and recommended actions O If issues are identified, some kind of action is imperative: O s share dissatisfaction and nothing happens -- organization has failed them twice Discuss Findings O Actions can be thought of as service recovery: O Recovery can impact tremendously on satisfaction and loyalty O In general customers have basic expectations Basic Expectations of s O Be competent O Explain things O Be respectful O Keep me informed O Be on my side O Play fair O Protect me from catastrophe O Keep your promise O Fulfill obligations O Learn my business and work with me O Share my sense of urgency O Be competent O Be prepared O Be flexible Source: Parasuraman, Berry, & Zeithaml, Interpret Findings O Try to see the forest through the trees O Organize your data and findings to tell a story O Get front-line employees involved O Involve customers if they are willing O Organize findings to report both good news and areas for improvement O Develop a presentation summarizing the measurement process, method, findings, and recommendations Take Action O Taking action is the bottom line O If nothing else -- you must provide feedback to customers on findings O Won t cooperate with future data collection O May negatively impact on their image of you 10

11 Process Improvement: The is Not Take Action O data is KEY ingredient in way the organization does business O data should DRIVE organizational improvement Take Action Remember that improvement is a process: O Outstanding service doesn t come over night O It s not impossible O Just takes commitment to customer satisfaction and quality Questions & Final Comments? 11

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