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Archive for July, 2010

Why Social Media for Customer Satisfaction?

July 26, 2010 1 comment

Why tune in to your customer feedback?

In today’s competitive world, a company’s reputation for satisfying clients is one of the key factors in whether or not someone will buy from them. For Non Profit organizations, the social, economic or political mission is key but so is the proof that the money and efforts being provided are having a positive effect.

From the perspective of a company’s management, customer satisfaction is all about improving revenue, reducing costs and increasing profit. For non profit organizations, sustaining and growing the list of donors and increasing the donations per subscriber are all affected by the satisfaction with your organization or mission..

What is changing ?

The methods of providing of customer / donor feedback is changing

Customer Satisfaction Surveys were conducted and tabulated and reported, monthly, quarterly and annually. Reporting often took place weeks and months later due to exhaustive analysis that was done on the data. Then a summary report was prepared and reviewed with different levels of management for possible corrective actions.

Customer Service metrics (responsiveness, first time fix, complaints and critical situations) were reviewed and reported – monthly, quarterly and annually. Actions were taking to improve any issues found.

Today, in addition to survey feedback and customer service feedback, the web is providing feedback, IF organizations are listening. Blogs, social media sights such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter and some key sites. In addition consumers can Vote on what they like and don’t like when created by others using sites like Digg and Delicious.

The Speed of Feedback is changing

The monthly, quarterly and annual reporting of customer satisfaction data has been replaced by daily and hourly feedback. In some cases, companies have found themselves needing to respond on the weekends and have been criticized by taking a full day (from Sunday to Monday) even when the response from the organization was satisfactory.

The Nature of the Feedback is changing

In the past, feedback was often structured. Surveys asked specific questions and led the customer to provide feedback on subjects the organization felt was important. Customer service was measured by coding the cause of the service call or the result, the volume or calls, response time ,and time to resolve issues. In short, the organization controlled what it wanted to hear as feedback. With social media, the customer or donor owns the subject of the feedback and therefore the conversation with the organization.

Customers or donors are providing feedback in 3 key areas

  1. Product Problems: customers having difficulty with a product or service.
  2. Product or service improvements customers would like to see in the future
  3. Better ways to market, sell, support or communicate with customers./ donors

How to get started with Social Media

Start Listening

There are many tools to find out what is being said about your organization and your key executives. See my blog post on different tools what they do.

Engage Executives

Be prepared to react and know how to reach executives quickly if something seriously damaging emerges in the listening.

Set some policies and processes on reacting

Remember customers will be watching for your reaction. Being on the sites where the customers and donors are communicating and responding appropriately builds trust and shows you care.

Review progress and adjust regularly

Most companies are in the infancy on how to handle social media so it is important to take a learning attitude and regularly review progress and best practices in the industry.

What activities do to first?

  • Decide to invest some resources and time on the new Web Technologies.
  • Get Educated: The top social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Youtube. Invest in some education on these key sites. See what they do.
  • Start Listening to your stakeholders.
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Why Root Cause Analysis?

July 6, 2010 3 comments

Root cause analysis helps identify what, how and why something happened, thus preventing recurrence.

Root causes are underlying, are reasonably identifiable, can be controlled by management and allow for generation of
recommendations.

Root cause analysis (RCA) is a process designed for use in investigating and categorizing the root causes of events with safety, health,
environmental, quality, reliability and production impacts. The term “event” is used to generically identify occurrences that produce or have the potential to produce these types of consequences.

Definition
Although there is substantial debate on the definition of root cause, we use the following:

  1. Root causes are specific underlying causes.
  2. Root causes are those that can reasonably be identified.
  3. Root causes are those management has control to fix.
  4. Root causes are those for which effective recommendations for preventing recurrences can be generated.

Root causes are underlying causes. The Practitioners goal should be to identify specific underlying causes. The more specific the Practitioners can be about why an event occurred, the easier it will be to arrive at recommendations that will prevent recurrence.

Four Major Steps
The RCA is a four-step process involving the following:

  1. Data collection.
  2. Causal Effect Diagram
  3. Root cause identification.
  4. Recommendation generation and implementation.

Step 1 —Data collection. The first step in the analysis is to gather data. Without complete information and an understanding of the
event, the causal factors and root causes associated with the event cannot be identified. The majority of time spent analyzing an event is spent in gathering data.

Step 2 —Causal Effect Diagram. Causal Effect Diagrams help you to think through causes of a problem thoroughly. Their major benefit is that they push you to consider all possible causes of the problem, rather than just the ones that are most obvious.

Identifying the Likely Causes of Problems Related variants: Fish or Fishbone Diagrams, and Ishikawa Diagrams

Step 3 —Root Cause identification. After all the causal factors have been identified, the investigators begin root cause
identification. This step involves the use of a decision diagram called the Root Cause Map to identify the underlying reason or reasons for each causal factor.

Step 4 —Recommendation generation and implementation. The next step is the generation of recommendations. Following identification of the root causes for a particular causal factor, achievable recommendations for preventing its recurrence are then generated.