Photo by DocuSign on Unsplash
Photo by DocuSign on Unsplash

How to Optimize Your Business Operations to Make Your Customers — and Employees — Happier

Your business exists to serve the needs of its customers. Your team is solving your customers’ most significant problems, adding value to their lives. 

As you hustle to deliver on your company and product’s promise, it can be easy to lose focus. Over time, what once was a beautifully orchestrated service delivery model can become muddied with complexity. 

This reality can decrease efficiency, morale, and customer satisfaction. But taking a look at the inner workings of your business from a new angle can turn things around. Not only can you boost the happiness levels of your customers, but you can also do so for your hardworking employees. 

Photo by DocuSign on Unsplash
Photo by DocuSign on Unsplash

1. Anticipate and Solve for High-Volume Customer Needs

Your monthly metrics likely show you the top reasons your customers reach out for support. Some of the reasons may be so predictable that your contact center has expressed concern about customer education gaps. With staffing shortages to consider, many organizations are considering modern solutions to high call volumes. 

Contact center menus are among the standard ways to route customers. Often requesting the caller to press a button to follow the path to call resolution, these tools are generally effective. However, the adaptability of conversational AI can lend a human element to an otherwise robotic experience. 

With conversational AI, the caller articulates their needs, and your sophisticated menu learns and adapts to route them appropriately. This tool can reduce the pressure on live agents, leaving them more time to serve complex customer needs. 

2. Control Chaos With Processes and Procedures

When team members are assigned new tasks without guidance, it can leave a lot of things open to interpretation. Add the reality of staff turnover, and suddenly your team is approaching the same problem in 10 different ways. This ad hoc way of doing business can be disjointed at best and lead to customer dissatisfaction or compliance issues at worst.  

Take a step back to assess your organization’s workload and most repeatable activities. Once you’ve done this, identify which of them could be improved by implementing optimized processes and procedures

Frequently, the tasks that are best suited for this are high-volume, high-risk, and data-heavy. Member account statement generation, annual compliance notifications, or contract renewal confirmations would be great candidates for standardized procedures. 

Gather the team members essential for a task’s completion to outline the deliverable’s intricacies. Develop and document a new process that enables problem solving, seizes improvement opportunities, and mitigates risks. 

Optimized business processes will give your customers a more consistent experience with your organization, leading to higher satisfaction and retention. In turn, such processes can improve efficiency, decrease risk, and result in higher confidence among your team. 

3. Use Templates to Guide Work

In a similar vein, if your organization is not using templates to facilitate its work, now’s the time to start. Launch an internal initiative to identify and create the templates your team needs. 

Templates simply take the guesswork of what’s required when it comes to commonly produced documents. When team members are no longer reinventing wheels, they’ll have more time for higher-priority tasks.

Project launch documents, media standby statements, and publication planning forms are all outputs that could benefit from removing the guesswork. This can be especially helpful as you cross-train colleagues to provide coverage for essential tasks. 

Orienting new employees can be a breeze when templates can guide their work. And even veterans benefit from having a set of expectations to meet.

Templates can also identify project gaps before they pose schedule-threatening issues. Leave space for the creator to identify the project time commitment, necessary subject matter experts, and risks. This forced look at scope and constraints can help teams understand the lift needed and better manage expectations. 

Customers will see the end results of your templating efforts in customer-facing materials and contact center interactions. Consistent customer experiences can lead to more confidence in the business relationship and your company’s competence in its field. 

4. Use Decision-Making Tools to Prioritize Projects

You can always rely on one universal truth: There will always be more work to do. While this may be encouraging as you project the future of your organization, it can lead to team overload. 

If your hardworking employees are overwhelmed, it can be hard to deliver for your customers. Instead of being burdened by an unrealistic workload, implement decision-making methodologies to prioritize work. 

SWOT analyses identify project strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and are one of the most commonly used decision-making tools. When your team is presented with a project opportunity, complete a SWOT analysis before adding the initiative to your calendar. Include time constraints, physical and human resources, as well as implementation demands. 

Some projects may be internal or customer-facing, so discuss the “What’s in it for me?” factor. This question helps you understand what level of engagement is required from various stakeholders. Be mindful of how many projects you initiate, as launch fatigue is real. Aim to find the sweet spot between new endeavors and improving existing operations. 

Making Respect Your Watchword

Your business depends on the satisfaction of both your customers and your employees. Position yourself for success by viewing respect as essential to your business. When you respect your colleagues, you create frameworks that help them succeed in their daily responsibilities. When you respect your customers, you create efficiency-enhancing solutions that save them time. 

Integrate the value of respect into your organization’s vocabulary. Elevate the needs, desires, and frustrations of your internal and external customers in your daily operations. When you aim to fulfill the needs of all of your audiences, you’ll have happy employees serving happy customers.