Are these 3 business trends a consequence of remote working or lack or effective leadership or processes not adapting post Covid?
Much has been written about how consumer behaviours are changing and the impact this has on business strategy. However, is sufficient focus being put on changing processes and the way business is done?
Through our research with businesses and their clients, we have seen 3 trends which may be negatively impacting on customer and supplier experience.
1. Slow decision making
Whether it was a research project, training, or implementation of new strategies, pre-Covid objectives were debated, alternatives assessed, and implementation took place as soon as possible thereafter.
We are now finding that it takes several months to get projects going or there is a chopping and changing of the scope and need as other “urgent” priorities arise. Scrambling seems to be the new norm.
Reviewing our research over the last 6 months we think there are a number of bottlenecks developing:
Teams are not collaborating to define clear objectives
Insufficient time is given to planning to determine outcomes and ensure results are delivered when required
Possibly there are insufficient (or adequately skilled) resources to do the required work
Those who are new to the company or position are not effectively onboarded and mentored
A lack of accountability for deliverables and timelines
There is a fear of making the wrong decision having not been able to quickly bounce it off someone
2. Decisions taking place with a select few
The best outcomes happen when all stakeholders, who are likely to action the work, are involved in the scoping and development of work streams. More and more often, we are finding only one or two people are involved in the design of projects that will be used by many.
Is this because:
Setting up meetings is more difficult with diaries full of Zoom or Teams meetings?
Decisions are being made in isolation without adequate thought about the impact on other areas of the business?
There is insufficient collaboration because teams are not physically together?
Individual needs are taking precedent over what’s best for the company?
3. Service levels have declined especially where call centres, administration and client queries are concerned
In recent research we have found:
E-mails are taking longer to answer and mail boxes are fuller than ever
Accessing a call centre is difficult as no-one answers, and the quality of the line is so poor the client requests are not being heard
Agents are not being effectively measured, managed, and motivated to provide a high quality service
Queries are passed around and are inadequately resolved
Administration around contracts, invoices and even payments is taking longer than ever to finalise
A few of our thoughts on why the above is happening:
Lack of engagement with one’s work
New distractions at home or from social media
A need for more intentional management and motivation of staff
Giving everyone, including administration and call centre staff, the time and input they need
More communication on the values and expectations of the business
Not reviewing job descriptions with the change to more remote working and increased automation
Difficulty balancing cost effectiveness and high quality
Do you know how your clients and suppliers are experiencing your delivery? The old adage of “what gets measured, is what gets done” is truer than ever.
At Livingfacts we have 20 years’ worth of experience in understanding what customers, stakeholders, staff, and suppliers need. We work with you to provide current research and insights on how to remain relevant in changing times.
Marylou Kneale has 32 years of research experience and extensive knowledge of the corporate sector. She founded Livingfacts in 2001 and has been Managing Director since inception. Over this time, Marylou and Livingfacts, have developed a core capability in the area of Customer and Business Relationship Measurement and Loyalty, as well as research into any strategy, brand and marketing related issue. Marylou has experience in all aspects of research from design, analytics, insight, story telling, presenting, sales, marketing and management of clients.
She has an enduring curiosity about people – what they think, what they say and why they do what they do.