How to Improve Customer Service by Dr. Natalie (Part 12) & Become an Agile & Customer Focused

How Do You Know If Your Company Is Agile and Customer-Focused? For the whole story on how to use the OODA Loop as a unique way to use Social Media to improve Customer Service, download the white paper here. Or read on…  If we use the OODA Loop as our basis, here’s some questions to ask yourself and your organization:

Question 1: Do you have systems to monitor/measure what employees and customers know, think and feel about how customer service is provided and how the rest of the business operates? And do you take that information and integrate it into your company and make improvements that deliver better products, services and, in particular, better customer service?

If you think about it, this is very similar to what W. Edward Deming was suggesting when he provided business advice to companies. The fact is some companies collect feedback, but that information rarely gets to the right department or person who could make use of it. And then if it does get to the right person, there are not systems or a process to use that insight to make improvements. And even fewer companies tell customers and employees when they have taken the feedback into consideration and made the right changes. One of the most powerful things companies can do is to let customers know that they care by not only making changes, but to let customers know their voice was heard and taken seriously.

Question 2: If you do listen and act on customer/employee feedback, do you do it faster than your competitors? If you do, you’ll have a decided time advantage over their competitor.

Question 3: Are we on track? In military operations, OODA takes place in seconds. In corporations, it’s much slower. In fact, the current year’s strategy is rigidly followed till next year’s planning cycle. What companies need to consider is that with the real-time web, waiting a year to make a change is too slow. In fact, waiting a month or a week may take a customer service issue, spread by social channels, into a PR nightmare. Consider stories like United Breaks Guitars as one way that customers are fighting back against what they perceive is poor customer interactions. It’s critical to validate we’re on track or correct it. Especially in the Age of Social Business.

Question 4: Do you take feedback, fix what is not working and then repeat that process over and over?  In OODA theory, its It not just about going through the OODA loop once. It’s about seeing the OODA Loop as a continuously, on-going process. And then the result of your actions provides the observations to reorient what you decide to do next.

Most companies think of Customer Service as a cost center. But what if Customer Service was a way to preserve and generate revenue? Customers are at the boiling point. They no longer want to take what’s handed to them, especially when it comes to Customer Service. And with social media they have a way to make their voice heard. If we go back in time, people were predicting there would be a technology that would allow customers to talk to each other. And to talk back to companies online when they are dissatisfied and that everyone would be able to see that negative interaction. That prediction was written about in the book The Cluetrain Manifesto.

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