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Taming the beast through quality assurance
As an operations manager, your role is broad, and yet it is pivotal to the success of your organisation. As a business grows, the CEO can feel like they’re constantly fire-fighting and trying tirelessly to keep up. Then they start to feel like they’re losing control, and the quality and consistency of the customer service starts to suffer. It’s usually around this point that you enter the picture.
Delegating some of the workload to you means that you’re now responsible for the smooth, efficient running of the organisation, and in the process meeting the customers’ expectations. As far as the CEO is concerned, it’s problem solved…
For you, the challenge has only just begun. Being faced with a chaotic, organically-grown monster can be overwhelming – especially when everyone’s watching how you tame the beast.
Time to flip the operations model
Until now, your CEO has been on the backfoot, reacting to, and solving, every issue as it presented itself. Little did they know that by flipping their way of working it would put them back in control of the business.
Quality assurance (not to be confused with quality control) is concerned with the steps you need to take to prevent problems and anticipate needs. It keeps you agile so you’re one step ahead of the changing market conditions. Operating in this manner means you truly understand your customers, you’re selling the best quality product/service, and you deliver every marketeers dream – the ultimate customer experience.
Customer experience is everything
In the realm of marketing, customer experience is everything because it shows the customer that your brand can be trusted to deliver the same experience every time.
For example, think about the last time you visited a large supermarket…
The trolleys were neatly parked waiting for you. The aisles were clearly signposted so you could quickly navigate your way to the butter, baked beans or bakery goodies. When you got to the checkout, the assistant enquired about your day and offered you help with packing. You were awarded points onto your loyalty card…all this, and more, ensured you had the best experience because it was designed to overcome your problems and anticipate your needs.
71% of senior marketing managers say quality assurance in customer satisfaction is one of the most useful metrics for monitoring business success.
– *Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance, second edition
How to implement a successful quality assurance process
We’re not here to tell you what your actual process should look like – your business is unique so the steps you take will be specific to the way you operate and completely different from any other business.
There are common threads that every operations manager needs to be aware of to ensure their quality assurance process is effective:
- It’s a team effort
Attempting to do everything yourself is tough; naturally, you’re going to need to rely on your team to help you implement the quality assurance process. And as the ones running your process, they’ll probably find new/different ways to perform certain steps, which can only help you improve the way you deliver that great customer experience.
- It’s an organisation-wide effort
Unlike the majority of roles in an organisation, yours touches every department, which means you need to involve managers from across the business. Talking to one organisation the other day, their biggest problem was cashflow because the finance department was never told when a project was completed and therefore able to invoice in a timely matter – don’t let that be you.
- You need to report to the key stakeholders
Whether it’s setting rocks at the quarterly strategy meeting, monthly Board meetings or weekly management meetings, people want to know how the business is performing. In the ideal world, everything is running to plan, but in reality, there’s always things that aren’t completed – you need to highlight these areas, provide a reason for why they’re not being done, and make recommendations to improve.
- You’re responsible for training new employees
Ok, so someone new entering the business might not be your direct report, but as you’re accountable for quality assurance, you’re also responsible for ensuring they know and follow the process. The easiest way to do this, is to write your process down and attach/include all the useful information they’ll need to run the process. Now your process is a training aid so they can learn on the job.
Quality assurance doesn’t have to be difficult
If you’re looking for a simple way to manage your quality assurance process, why not sign up for a free 14-day trial?
It allows you to share tasks within your team, assign actions to other people across the business, report on your performance, highlight areas for process improvement and train new employees on the way you do things.