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Case Study: Raising Service Levels & Employee Morale in Rapid Growth Periods

Situation

Participation in the service programs of a Midwestern fleet leasing company was growing 300% per year. With the rapid increase in workloads, processes and staffing were rapidly strained, service levels declined, complaints increased, and customer satisfaction levels dropped significantly. Additionally, mounting staff turnover resulted in the loss of important procedural knowledge. Management retained a DHC consultant to analyze the situation and implement solutions.

Solution

Because the immediate need was to meet basic customer expectations, the project was broken into two phases: short-term initiatives to address immediate customer issues; and long-term solutions.

Short-Term: To insure services promised to customers could be delivered, DHC organized the staff and its supervisors into teams to flowchart procedures and clarify roles and responsibilities. Those who performed the work rather than those who managed it were given flowcharting responsibility for each process. The flowcharts became a training aid and reference manual for understanding and performing day-to-day tasks. Next, the teams compiled a client profile book, which documented and communicated customer expectations and custom-tailored client processes. A training program was developed and implemented to improve each staff member’s competence and skill level.

Long-Term: Once daily requirements were met, a consolidated team focused on reengineering the processes and developing measures and standards. The team analyzed workflows to eliminate non-value-added activities and to assure procedures could respond to rapidly increasing volumes. It was determined that many functions could be automated and computer programs could be rewritten, which allowed for more sharing of information and eliminating redundant work. Work processes that standardize problem resolution were streamlined and reworked. The team developed measures and performance standards for service turnaround and accuracy reporting. Additionally, methods for continually publishing measures and addressing reported deviations were established.


Results

As the team’s changes took effect, not only the clients but the entire corporation comprehended the increasing service quality delivered to customers. The team’s changes also improved the image and business environment of the organization.

  • In four weeks, the staff had a clear understanding of daily procedures and expectations and had developed the skills to meet those requirements. Employee morale and teamwork improved greatly.
  • Clear documentation provided standard procedures, which assured consistent, high quality service for internal and external customers.
  • There was a substantial reduction of non-value-added work, allowing the department to handle the 300% increase in volume without adding staff.
  • There was a dramatic increase in customer satisfaction ratings and quality of customer service.

 

 



© COPYRIGHT 2017 Dechert-Hampe Co.

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