Are Your Systems Helping or Hurting Your Business

Systems in your business (processes that you put in place to ensure a consistent experience for the customer/client) are absolutely critical to your success as a leader.  However, we also have to make sure that, as leaders, we review and revise our systems periodically.  It’s easy to get tied up in the day to day grind and forget what hoops our customer/clients are having to jump through because of our systems.

As with all things, there are pluses and minus to systems.plusminus

Case in point:

I’m in the middle of transitioning the phone and internet at job from not only one vendor, but to a whole new technology.  We’re leaving the old world of copper pair PBX and jumping into hosted VOIP for our phones. We’re also changing vendors for the internet from ancient bonded T1’s to fancy 18Mb broadband.

As you might expect, the process is fraught with potential gotcha’s.  With all things technology, the process is a house of cards with many potential points of failure that will cascade throughout the whole operation.

I’m working with a great Business Account Manager with the new vendor.  She’s responsive, courteous, and has in depth knowledge of the offerings available to me.

However, she’s getting hamstrung badly by outdated business ordering systems.  For example: to get an answer to a question, I have to talk to her, then she talks to an in house person, who checks a database, who then has a tech come out to the site.

As you might expect, the process has gone sideways and the product that was supposed to be available to us, is not.  Even though the database said it was, and the in house person said it was, the tech said everything was working, and the Business Account Manager gets to deal with my calls of “Why aren’t we getting the program we were quoted”.

Leaders, my challenge to you today is to follow up with a customer and get feedback on the process of getting your service or product into their hands.  Review your systems internally and talk with the folks who have day to day, hands on experience with the systems and ask for their input on how to improve the systems.

Not only does this invest in your people, but you might just get the best idea to improve your system that you’ve never thought of.

What systems can you improve in the next two weeks?