Learning Consistency and Adaptability from the Cosmos.

Republished by permission – Ron Woodbury Consulting:

For hundreds of million years, the Perseid meteor shower has dazzled earth with fantastic natural lightshow. How is it that we (read: customer) can count on the same stunning show (read: process) next week, next year, and a hundred years from now? Consistency and adaptability. Two fundamentals to a sound process management and improvement methodology.

It may seem a bit odd to compare a galactic phenomenon to your business processes, such as billing, shipping, or call center management. Let’s take a closer look. Presuming, of course, your processes are not in disarray, which would call for a bit more radical process improvement approach.

Gathering customer or client satisfaction data is arguably critical to all businesses and nonprofit agencies. Think about your data gathering process(s). Over the past decade or so, you have certainly had to adapt to the expanding number of touch points or opportunities to obtain information. Call center and online customer chat surveys are commonplace and provide instant feedback. Businesses have adapted to social media at the desktop and mobile devices to obtain satisfaction data. In addition to traditional surveys (both online and paper), we have the opportunity to gather data specific to each individual product or service we may deliver with online comments and ratings.

Regardless of the delivery channel, you probably have a set of fundamental customer satisfaction data that you are attempting to gather. Are you gathering data at each touch point in a consistent manner? Can you easily compile the data gathered in an online post-chat survey capturing the same metrics as a pop-up survey on your website?

We adapt to the delivery channels, just as the Perseid meteor shower adapts to the changing environment in our vast solar system. However, we maintain consistency among the delivery channels to ensure we capture consistent data for our analysis. Certainly, you will have some questions that are specific to the delivery channel in order to help you fine-tune your online and traditional systems. However, your underlying customer satisfaction, service satisfaction, client referral propensity, et al must be consistent.

So, next time you look into the night sky and see that return performance of Perseid, or even Haley’s Comet, think about how consistency and adaptability might help your business processes.