Continuous Process Improvement is associated to actions a business takes to continually re-evaluate and change any of its processes based on increasing efficiencies of the process, potentially reducing the associated costs and increasing its effectiveness.
A large number of businesses still work with the traditional model in regards to their processes, where they may not change or alter them until reactively needing to do so.
In contrast, pro-active businesses are continually challenging current processes and changing them on a dynamic basis to increase effectiveness and efficiencies as well as reduce costs.
In many ways, it’s like owning a car.
If you don’t maintain your car, at some point it’s going to break down and will need repairs. Most likely it will break down when you are in traffic, time poor, or unable to afford the repair bills.
However if you constantly maintain the vehicle (at your convenience and when financially able) then it will run smoothly (effectively and efficiently) until you decided to replace or retire it.
We’ve been fortunate enough to work within both models and it’s amazing to see the differences between the two.
One large company who had a procedure for handling customer calls, which had not been reviewed or altered for over 5 years was wondering why customer complaints were increasing and customer satisfaction levels were decreasing.
It became obvious as we worked through the assigned project with them that their stagnant approach was doing a disservice to the customer rather than actually servicing their needs. A change of script, IVR flow, and some coaching for the CSR’s saw an immediate increase in satisfaction results and a decrease in complaints.
When invited into the CEO’s office for a wrap of the project he was elated with the results and congratulated us on our efforts.
Rather than accept the thanks we politely asked him when he intended to review the process again?
His response is not really printable here but it was something along the lines of “well its just been done so it should be ok for a fair while now”, that was my cue to give him a quick reminder on the power of continuous improvement initiatives and the benefits it could have on his company.
Thankfully the CEO became a convert and now the Company is gradually turning away from being a reactive process improvement model to becoming a proactive model.
The increased sales and service results are beginning to talk for themselves!