Primarily this is used in the service sector and the customer service side of manufacturers.
Having the right processes in place ensures a consistent customer experience, a consistent quality of service so that repeat visits and uses are encouraged.
Earlier today the author had a bad experience with a service company. I phoned to make a payment. First of all the direct dial that had been given was answered after one ring with “This extension does not accept voicemails”. Then the next number listed on the invoice seemed to be very confused: “You want to make a payment?” “Yes!” “Let me speak to someone who may be able to help you.” I’m on hold.
OK so at this point I am flabbergasted, surely a service business who sends out invoices would be able to take the payment on one of the numbers that they gave for credit card payments? They gave no details for bank payments and cheques are so old-fashioned.
The lady then took me off hold to tell me that the amount was 20% higher than it was – she had added VAT to a VAT inclusive amount. Seriously? I objected to that, so was back on hold. She came back and said that she was transferring me to someone to take the payment.
Tick tock tick tock.
When I spoke to the gentleman, his manner was incredibly gruff. He didn’t give his name. He was very short as if it was an inconvenience having to take payment. I repeated all the details again. Then guess what? Back on hold as “I’ve not logged into the payment system yet” this was at 10:30 in the morning. I gave the card details, but had to ask for the authorisation code to prove that it had been done as I have no confidence that the money has been put against the correct account to be perfectly honest. I asked for the gentleman’s name and begrudgingly he gave it before hanging up with no “Goodbye”, no “Thank you for your payment”, no “I’ll send you a receipt out.”
The whole call took over 15 minutes. Wasting my time, and theirs.
Now as a client how am I feeling?
Well to be honest I am feeling as though I’ll move my business elsewhere. Politeness and organisation cost nothing! They obviously need a payment process.
When we deliver process flows to customers then they are shocked that it would be marketing that do it. But a bad customer experience will lead to bad word of mouth or PR, so by having the processes in place and working with other departments to implement them are powerful to maintaining repeat business and increasing share of wallet.
Typical processes include things such as booking systems, meet and greet at a restaurant, payment, opening an account, processing an order and so on. Each company has their own requirements. Sometimes looking at a process objectively can mean that issues can be identified to encourage online sales conversions for example.
What do we mean by a process flow?
Remember those flowcharts that you learnt how to do at school but never knew why? Well this is why!
Below are two examples: an unoptimised process flow, and an optimised version of the same process to increase shopping basket conversions by over 75% – that’s why process belongs in marketing!
The above example is a simple process with no decision diamonds, but there are others that are a lot more complex. Being prepared and having your staff know what the processes are, even for things that don’t happen very often (crisis PR for example), means that you have far better outcomes for the business.
If you want an external eye to look at your current customer impacting processes and evaluate where they can be improved, or if they are not documented to document them, then please give us a call for a friendly no-obligation chat.