This article is aimed at explaining a theoretical framework in practical terms.
1. What is a business process?
Wikipedia defines a business process as a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that serve a particular goal for a particular customer. From a service point of view, such a process will give shape to the actions and standards underlying the service offering of my business and the service experience of my client.
2. How do you create and document your service delivery process?
Identify your points of interaction with clients
Examples: Points of sale; sales staff’s interaction with clients; your call centre or switchboard; when invoicing clients; online contact points (email, website).
Set service standards for each of the identified processes
Examples: What are your expected turnaround times for queries, orders or complaints? What are the allowable waiting periods for clients in queues waiting to be assisted, or the number of rings before calls are picked up by staff?
What process is followed to evaluate the level of service of your business?
Examples: Client surveys at points of sale; “mystery-shoppers”; telephonic sampling and testing response times of your business system that is used by clients. The elements, responsibilities and business rules (e.g. frequency of measuring) of every aspect should be documented.
What process is followed to address feedback from the evaluation process?
Examples: How is sub-standard behaviour being addressed? Are there any gaps in unrelated or related processes that are leading to negative outcomes? This may require process updates and amendments of various aspects of your business.
Do you review your services processes on a regular basis?
Examples: Do service standards en evaluation methods have to be adapted? System enhancements and updates may have an impact on service elements.
Do you update your source documents on completion of an evaluation process or when feedback from the practice requires some amendments?
Examples: Updating operational and training manuals; retraining and education of staff, and system adjustments when the business processes change.
Do you have a process in place to put constructive feedback on service to good use?
Examples: How do you integrate the information on your website, marketing material and advertisements?
As a business manager I am consistently applying the discipline of sound process management, as it provides my business with an element of certainty regarding people and system practices.
Our service delivery process is central to the success of our business – make sure that you are able to meet the promises you make in terms of service delivery, by following a process approach to give shape to the way your staff act and your service levels are attained.
The content in this article was provided by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market. Sanlam is a diversified financial services group, headquartered in South Africa, operating across a number of selected global markets.
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