Lean Wednesday Tip: Customer Focused Process Improvement

 

“Effective Lean organizations study their processes from their customer’s point of view and align their processes to meet their customers’ needs the first time and every time.” – Donna Summers

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Tricks for driving growth and revenue

To drive growth and increase revenue a company must understand current and potential customers and identify uncontested opportunity in the industry. Below are a few tricks for driving growth and revenue:

  1. Gather more information from customers that hate you, are apprehensive about you, or don’t know you to identify opportunities to enter into new markets.
  2. Talk to more customers and answer more customer emails.
  3. Have more lunches with customers.
  4. Focus on products, services or solutions currently not being offered in the industry because realizing an opportunity in this aspect will prompt first-to-market revenue opportunities.
  5. Invest in your most profitable products, services or solutions and do away with the ones that erode profitability. For example, Southwest Airlines differentiated itself by not getting into the food business (low-cost business design) like its competitors instead it focused on providing customers with a great experience instead.
  6. Gain strategic dominance in atleast 2 or more of the following¬† (e.g., branding, patent, copyright, value chain control, 2 year product lead, 20% cost advantage, control distribution, supply control, customer information flow, unique organizational culture, et cetera) “The Profit Zone by Adrian Slywotzky”
  7. Stay abreast of industry and customer behavior and purchasing changes for the purpose of redesigning your business design to meet these new demands.

The Customers that HATE you bring in the most valuable insights

¬†When utilizing the Voice of the Customer to glean insights don’t just target the customers that love you. When you take the time to really listen to the customers that hate you and turn their pains into solutions that is when you actually drive growth for your company.

Why target customers that hate you, you may ask? They have valuable insights on how your product or service can improve and can inspire you to create solutions that are currently not offered in the industry (first to market opportunities).

cust-service1Companies that are customer focused stay on top of customer pains and actually listen to them. They take more meetings with customers and work to turn client requirements into products, services or solutions.

The questions are:

Why do you hate us and what can we do to change that?

What are we doing wrong?

What are your pains?

When you acquire the answers to these questions then you can brainstorm ideas for products, services or solutions that will solve these pains. As a customer focused company you can’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. By turning customers who hate you into customers that love you will not only increase your client base and revenue but also make your competitors run for their money.

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