If you’re new to role and dealing with unfamiliar service functions, you’ll want to quickly get to the heart of the operation and understand just what it is you’ve inherited. It’s inevitable that as you learn more about your operations you’ll realise that you’re faced with a broad range of challenges, Identify and resolve these issues quickly and you can deliver significant improvements in service quality, reduce wastage, drive down operational cost and increase profitability.
Three essential areas for delivering enhanced levels of service in your front and back office operations
Do you know what factors are driving times? Do your staff have the required information and skills to rapidly answer customer queries? Do they have the right tools to resolve customer issues satisfactorily? Are high times being driven by positive factors or by negative factors?
Available to work
Login rates are a key driver of operational efficiency. Even if your staff arrive and leave work on time, can you be confident that they’re logged in and actively working all day? For what proportion of the working day are they productive? And how does this compare to industry standards? If log in rates are low, this will impact customer response times, which in turn results in a chain of negative customer outcomes.
“Time lost is never found again.”
It is probable that your staff and process design are creating additional work by not delivering high quality customer outcomes first time round? Do they have the right skills and the appropriate tools to deliver a consistent positive customer experience? Are they sufficiently engaged to do so? And are they targeted on delivering customer satisfaction, or are their objectives purely volume focused?
Three areas for delivering greater efficiency
If you have 100 FTE each spending 15 minutes per day waiting for the preceding action in a workflow to be completed, or idle what will that cost your business? Squeezing waiting times can have a major impact on operational efficiency, plus the benefits of giving customers faster decisions and quicker servicing can have even greater commercial value.
“Indecision and delays are the parents of failure.”
Rework & Primary/Secondary Controls
Do you know how many errors, exceptions or incomplete activities are created each day within your operations? And do you know how much time is wasted by other team members tasked with putting things right? How much activity is focused on Primary and Secondary controls reports and what’s the root cause? It’s a challenge common to all FS organisations, yet the correct quality controls can be relatively easy to implement and can quickly deliver a step-change in operational efficiency.
Are your staff producing too much information or producing it too soon? E.g. unduly detailed investigations for low value claims, or multiple bespoke letters where standard phrasing will suffice? If just one tenth of each team member’s time is spent on unnecessary outputs, think of the efficiency gains and cost savings that could be made.
There is significant cross-over between areas and actions that affect quality and those that impact productivity, and that’s logical, because quality of output is closely linked with operational efficiency.
These 6 essential areas and questions are just the ‘tip of the service and efficiency iceberg’. If there’s a question you can’t answer then there is significant opportunity for performance improvement in your operation.
A DHP diagnostic is a fast and effective way to identify opportunities to improve service quality and efficiency within your organisation. The first stage is to understand your requirements and set the scope for the analysis, and once you understand where the opportunities lie, you can implement corrective action and deliver increased operational efficiency, capacity and profit.