YES! Let’s talk about how…
There is a large body of evidence demonstrating a strong correlation between customer experience (CX) and revenue generation. Forrester’s research found companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%1.
However, during periods of economic hardship, many companies and organizations hesitate to make the necessary investments to enhance CX. Temptations arise to reduce or delay budgets allocated for improving digital experiences, expanding customer service teams, implementing automation, and personalization efforts.
Is there perhaps another path? What if a small, incremental investment could actually save large amounts of cost and labor while improving customer experience?
Enter real-time operations – an innovative and practical way to cut costs and improve customer experience simultaneously.
What Does Real-Time Operations Mean?
Most companies apply resources statically – for example, varying staffing levels on different days/hours of the week, instructing staff to service facilities on a scheduled basis, opening new checkout lanes only when the lines get long enough, etc.
The flaw in this approach is that the magnitude of resources being applied is – essentially – a guess, and that guess is inherently incorrect – either too few (angry customers) or too many (wasted resources).
Conversely, using a real-time operations approach, where you apply resources dynamically based on what is happening right now, allows you to optimize resources, time, and costs.
3 Basic Steps of Real-time Operations:
- Sense key factors in real time, from:
- People – customer sentiment, their input, their direct requests
- Processes – wait times, transaction times, actions taken
- Places – the number of customers, noise levels, road traffic
- Analyze these factors to find key correlations, patterns, and triggers
- Act proactively and apply resources dynamically exactly when needed
There are many ways to deploy real-time operations; but here are 3 main examples from our innovative, customer-obsessed clients:
1. Deliver your human-powered services, but do so exactly when needed – not before or after
An advanced, customer-obsessed client of ours operates 600+ convenience stores and knows that cleanliness (especially in restrooms) is critical for them to maintain their stores as a destination – a place travelers are going to go out of their way to stop at. Instead of guessing what’s needed and just sending staff to clean on a regular basis, this innovative company has deployed dynamic, real-time operations to send staff exactly where and when they’re needed. How? They follow the Sense, Analyze, Act routine to perfection:
Sense – they use simple, tactile green-yellow-red buttons in their restrooms to gauge customer sentiment regarding the cleanliness of the restrooms. They also use people counters to understand exactly how many people come and go from that restroom.
Analyze – using our platform, they determine the correlation between usage and sentiment, and they know what pattern of usage will necessitate immediate servicing of that restroom (such as X people in Y minutes).
Act – using alerts from our platform, they deploy staff to service that restroom before the “Red” feedback votes begin to occur – not before and not after. This ensures every patron has a clean restroom and a positive experience.
2. Empowering patients to request services exactly when they need them
A large, cutting-edge hospital in the New York City area places FeedbackNow’s simple and wireless 1-2-3 buttons at the bedside of its patients.
A sign above the buttons says “Please click below for help from…”
1 – Cleaning
2 – Food Service
3 – Maintenance
The patient now has the power to request help from non-medical teams. The press of each button sends an immediate alert directly to the right department and gets them the help they need as fast as possible. This leaves a lasting impression on the patient – whether the button is used or not – and has led to higher survey scores.
For the hospital, though, the benefits don’t end with higher survey scores – this real-time operation approach saves overworked nurses from having to fill out forms and call these departments. With a simple 1-2-3 button, the need is sensed, analyzed, and acted upon. Labor is conserved and customer experience is raised. This hospital has reported a 30% reduction in RN time spent on non-medical issues. A simple solution with powerful results.
3. Empowering staff to request services from other staff, exactly when they need them
In many operations, speed to deliver services to the end customer is key, but often these internal operations are slow, and it’s that end customer who must wait patiently and awkwardly.
A small hospital in California was trying to shorten the average wait time for emergency room visits. By quickly examining all the operations that went into one complete visit, the hospital and FeedbackNow decided to see if we could reduce the amount of time it took to get the right cleaning crew to each ER bay so that the next patient could occupy it.
There are 3 different types of cleaning that must be done, often requiring different crews to do them. Instead of phone calls or waiting to see the right crew to tell them in person, a simple push of a 1-2-3 button from the medical staff in each bay indicates what type of cleaning is needed in that bay, and the alert is immediately sent to the to the right crew with the bay information.
This small but real-time operation cut down wait times by minutes each time, which added up to significantly better ER turnover over the course of hours, days, and months.
Using simple real-time operations, businesses can create smooth, efficient, and fast handoffs between staff. This helps to increase efficiency and reduce wait times for better patient experiences and faster care.
While it may seem counterintuitive, investing in CX can lead to operational efficiencies and cost savings to help you stay afloat during these tough economic times. Streamlined processes, automation, and self-service options can improve productivity, reduce customer service costs, and optimize resource allocation.
By following these strategies, businesses can improve the customer experience and lower costs at the same time. This is a win-win for both businesses and customers!
Let’s chat about how FeedbackNow can help you reduce costs by improving customer experience.
1.Forrester Research, “The State of Customer Experience 2022”