Most organizations today can point to internal systems that provide data to answer most of their business questions and to meet corporate reporting requirements. But how many of them are really using all the available data to support business decisions that will drive organizational improvements?
In the current economic climate companies are succeeding or failing based on their ability to react to customer expectations and demands. Customer feedback, therefore, has enormous value to an organization. By not capturing and utilizing such valuable and freely available insights into how the business is perceived by its market, organizations are surely missing a tool through which they could gain competitive advantage.
It is no surprise that in many high-performing organizations, business intelligence and root cause analysis have emerged as top strategic initiatives and priorities for senior management. This reflect the focus organizations are now giving to the analysis of key information to drive business objectives such as customer retention and market penetration.
Effective root cause analysis of customer feedback relies on the organization collecting the relevant data to ensure meaningful insights can be extracted from it. Therefore the feedback provided must be recorded effectively and analyzed promptly to implement corrective actions.
When followed successfully, this process should ultimately result in a reduction in the total volume of complaints. The knock-on effect being that, because a commercial enterprise's customers receive a better-quality experience across the board, brand loyalty is engendered, driving up their likelihood to buy more products or services and increasing revenues.
Implemented correctly, root-cause analysis and business intelligence strategies will help drive specific actions and organizational change programs that operational reporting will not.
Successful root cause analysis and business intelligence rely on good-quality data that is consistent and dependable and is supported and maintained by robust processes and systems.
Often the benefits of gathering feedback and data in a consistent, dependable manner are compromised during an implementation that is focused too heavily at a transactional level. Errors in data capture or broken processes across the business may only come to light when analyzed in the context of the bigger picture.
Successful root cause analysis initiatives require data that is:
Effective Root Cause Analysis can only work over the long term if the culture and ethos of a company embraces it. The commitment to sharing and gathering data on an enterprise-wide scale is an essential aspect of Root Cause Analysis. An entire organization must commit to gathering customer data from a number of different sources, including customer complaints data, and logging it in a complaints management solution. Effective root cause analysis can only take place when all members of an organization embrace their role in the process of improving customer service and an infrastructure designed to capture and monitor customer feedback is established.
There are clear and tangible benefits for organizations that embrace root cause analysis as a process of continual improvement. The key to successful root cause analysis is not solely the responsibility of the analyst, but starts at the point where feedback is captured within the organization. All areas of the business share the responsibility of ensuring a quality-driven process collects the data that will drive future strategic decisions within the organization.
When looking at the end-to-end process for root cause analysis, the data that support it needs to be comprehensive, accurate, consistent and timely.
Companies that implement such a strategy, supported by the right technology, will gain valuable insight to drive organizational improvements, resulting in service improvements, customer loyalty and increased revenues.