The Italian affiliate of a multinational group. The need: to restructure Customer Service and Sales Operations. These are based in Rome and Milan, along with one outsourced unit located abroad. The company has worked for over 40 years in a sector that has undergone radical change. It has only partially adapted to new market needs: new products and services, more agile, more competitive strategic models. It has an outdated organizational culture and obsolete processes, and these have impacted negatively on its competitiveness in terms of both results and customer satisfaction.
The company’s middle management is unable to understand and solve concrete problems, due to their over-theoretical approach, based more on procedures than the pursuit of objectives and improvement.
The answer is to send in a temporary manager with strong expertise in customer service and sales operations, who can bring about the following actions:
- bring in a new organizational model based on accountability, strengthening of skills and transparency
- introduce effective tools for monitoring performance and taking the necessary steps to bring about improvement
- simplify processes and adapt them to a more advanced customer service-driven approach, removing redundant bureaucratic processes that added no value
The changes/improvements brought about by Contract Manager’s customer service manager were the following:
- Creation of KPIs for measuring Customer Satisfaction and outsourced activities, (Service Level Agreements).
- Analysis of key operating processes, comparing costs for the company with corresponding end-customer benefit.
- Relations with partners and other departments: excessive rigidity and the lack of cross-functional skills and a common language had put under strain not only different departments (Customer Service vs Sales and vs IT) but also some suppliers and partners.
- Thanks to the creation of customized report forms based on few but essential indicators, it was possible to provide the management with a clear picture of the situation of the services offered to clients, of the strengths to enhance and of the weak areas to improve.
- Having the temporary manager working alongside management allowed the company to map operations, highlighting the main causes of poor quality service (procedural gaps or errors, lack of coordination between the departments, technical problems in management software, etc.). Improvement measures resulted in a decrease of errors in operations (blocked orders, long lead times, high scrap levels) and in a tangible improvement of the quality of Customer Service.
- This support also highlighted how much effort was being wasted in repetitive manual tasks. By eliminating some unnecessary tasks and automating others, it was possible to release human resources, assigning them to activities providing added value for customers. Similarly, savings in direct costs were achieved: scrapping unnecessary activities and introducing new procedures led to the same volume of service being delivered with lower costs for outsourced services (contact center and back office).
- Building relations based on responsibility, transparency and cooperation has significantly increased trust both between departments and with key suppliers. The rapid completion of a number of projects that had been ongoing for some time is further proof of the improvement in relations between the different departments.