Focus on the Customer

‘Make the customer the hero of your story’ – Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, Marketing Profs.

Have you looked at your business from your customer’s point of view? Do you measure and monitor how well you deliver what your customer really wants?

They want things like…
◾On-time delivery [In today’s culture, customers are into instant gratification]
◾Accurate order [Returns are a hassle]
◾Accurate invoice
◾Flawless service and support

In summary, they want value for their money.

Do your processes support that?

Start by looking at your ‘Moments of Truth’ – the places where your internal processes interact with your customer. I suggest that you speak with some customers to see how you are doing. Ask them how you might improve.

Determining a way to measure how you are doing can get difficult. The metric you choose needs to be useful. You need to be able to objectively measure it. When you have established your current metrics, you can now look to improve those numbers.

Benefits of Business Process Management

The benefits of business process management

There are many benefits to managing your business processes. The benefits may differ from company to company, but they are very real.

The University of San Francisco posted a blog that identifies some important benefits:

◾Increased accountability
◾Improved reliability
◾Simplify regulatory compliance
◾Avoid waste
◾Promote safe working conditions
◾Protect company resources/information.

These benefits will decrease costs and should increase revenues. Your expected outcome – increased profits.

If improving your processes leads to increased profits, then continuous process improvement just makes sense

The simplest way to address continuous process improvement is to have a process for improving your processes.

You could address a change to a process the same way you address a change to a product or service – through a change request. Obviously, this change request will follow a different path to implementation. Interestingly, medical manufacturers attempting to be FDA compliant are actually required to have a process improvement process.

Contact me if you would like some help with your process improvement process…….

Marketing Communications Designed to Increase Customer Loyalty

The purpose of marketing communications has traditionally been the acquisition of customers, not the retention of customers. We discussed earlier that while traditional marketing communications influence brand image and thereby influence loyalty among customers, this is an unintended effect, as those advertisements are usually designed to acquire customers. But this suggests a question: should some marketing communications be designed specifically to increase the loyalty of existing customers?

In some business-to- business industries, this has been done for many years. Indeed, communications vehicles (company magazines, newsletters, and company videos) aimed at current customers have been developed especially for this purpose.

But this idea is new in many business-to- consumer categories. It would seem to warrant consideration, at least. One reason is that research has found that customers of a given brand tend to be more attentive to that brand’s advertisements than noncustomers.

This raises the question of what the content of such communications should be. Should it be the same as that for noncustomers? Certainly, the communications should support the image of the brand the company is trying to maintain. That said, one of the reasons for customers’ greater attentiveness to the company’s marketing communications is that they are unconsciously trying to obtain confirmation that they made the “right” choice.
Given that, perhaps a company should use its marketing communications to meet this desire. Such marketing communications would need to focus on the rational or functional benefits of the product/service.

In the case of consumer services, a company may want to consider using the communications to remind the customer (consciously or unconsciously) of how the company’s service satisfies the human needs we discussed ear-lier (security, self-esteem, justice). I do not know of any companies that have used these strategies in designing marketing communications, but they do seem reasonable.

As mentioned earlier, marketing communications vehicles targeted at current customers have been used in business-to- business for years, but are now sometimes being used in business-to- consumer settings. Some companies that collect their customers’ contact information send them fliers and catalogs.

What Is Six Sigma and Why Should I Care?

The toughest thing about success is that
you’ve got to keep on being a success.
—Irving Berlin

Welcome to Six Sigma for Small Business! You are about to embark on an
exciting journey that will allow you to improve your profits, uncover hidden
waste and costs in your business, eliminate complacency, and increase
overall quality and customer satisfaction.

Six Sigma has been widely adopted by American businesses because it works! I have been in the trenches implementing the Six Sigma improvement methodology in major corporations since 2010, and I have seen incredible results over and over again. You, the small business owner, can achieve these same amazing breakthroughs by applying Six Sigma to you organization.
This page is designed for small business owners and managers who want to learn how the Six Sigma problem-solving and improvement methodology can help solve immediate business problems and who are ready to take advantage of the gains that Six Sigma can bring them.

How much do you know about Six Sigma? Maybe you’ve heard of it, but you’re not sure what it is. Or, perhaps you think you know what it is, but you can’t imagine how it would apply to your small business like it has been applied at a giant company like GE. Then again, maybe you’ve never heard of Six Sigma but you would like to learn about this problem solving methodology because you want to improve your business. In other words, regardless of your level of Six Sigma knowledge, if you own a small business and want it to make breakthrough improvements in terms of efficiency, cost savings, customer satisfaction, and profitability, this book is for you.

In other words, this page is for you if:
• You want to turn your current mistakes into profit. (Note: you can’t
turn mistakes into Naira. You can however, get rid of mistakes
and realize lower costs and improved performance and profitability
as a result.)
• You want more time for a personal life.
• Your business is doing well, but you know it could do much, much better.
• You want to increase profit.
• You want to make a better product/service at lower cost with less waste and rework.
• You want to deliver higher quality services and products to your customers.
• You want to increase the satisfaction of your customers.
• You want to grow and expand your business.
• You want to maximize your employees’ contribution and increase their level of commitment.