SUCCESS STORIES

Cross-functional focus improves customer satisfaction

Industry: Healthcare Equipment

Use case: Customer MirrorWave


 

The CEO of this subsidiary to a multi-national healthcare equipment manufacturer and distributor wanted to put the customer at the heart of what they do. Not only did he want to add the customer voice to his scorecard of performance measures, but he wanted the company be more customer centric in its behaviours.

To achieve this, an operational manager was appointed to head the process for getting the company into a rhythm of listening and responding. They realised that getting into this rhythm would require representatives from each key function to establish a ‘routine’ (like a company habit) that would be a way of working that endure regardless of which managers left the company.

Based on the regular rhythm of running two pulses (‘waves’) a year to all its customers, the company ran the MirrorWave Close the Loop process to get back to participating customers quickly and decisively to sort out the easiest to fix issues. After the Close the Loop process was finished, they also established the routine of holding a ‘blitzing day’ after each wave to look at the deeper, more systemic issues that would take more time and effort to resolve. A small core group of people from all functions, whether customer-facing or not, attended this blitzing day.

At first the intent was to inventory the list of issues raised by customers being careful to maintain the customer perspective and not be too quick to look inwards. This ensured the customer voice was at the centre of their process. Later blitzing days required each function to look at the feedback and to come to the meeting with ideas for what they could do and to not be defensive. This encouraged attendees to ask whether this was actually helping the customer or not and to consider out-of-the-box resolutions that might take a little more effort and expense, but would be beneficial for customers.

In one instance the team recognised that they were not going to be able to properly fix a landed cost issue for parts with a limited shelf life by using their usual supplier, so they decided to work with a local third party to make these spare parts more readily available. Latest conversations have also centred around how to manage customer expectations better and to communicate, rather than to solely focus on improving performance.

Whilst there is a continuing challenge to make the agreed actions from the blitzing day happen, the leadership team sees more customer orientated collaboration between the functions and less inwards-looking behaviours. Customer satisfaction has rose initially but has since then has plateaued as further deep issues await resolution and the effective management of expectations, especially with ‘unresolved angries’.