I just lost a client who fell through the gaps. Help!

Dear Aunty B,


We are a medium sized business and recently we introduced some new software, did a major restructure (to improve customer service!) and we split a department into two.


The client got lost in the gap.


He had been complaining to one manager who failed to report it to the other manager.

Now I am concerned that as we grow, our service levels are falling. A few clients have also complained about the new order management process.


What is the quickest way to check? Do I need to bring in consultants?

Simon F,
North Sydney


Dear Simon,

Quick (as in entrepreneurial quick) and consultants is an oxymoron.


Look, you could have your answer by the end of tomorrow. How? Be a customer for the day. Recreate your customer’s experience by following an order through your company.

And you can’t do it as the owner. Do it as a customer, looking at it from the customer’s angle.


The things you are looking for are how many times the order moves from one department to the other.

  • What are the gaps?
  • Who is in charge of the order?
  • How do they hand it over?
  • Does everyone in every department know who are the most important customers?
  • Does everyone understand who gets top priority?
  • Does anyone who is far away from the customer make crucial decisions that affect the customer?
  • How efficient is the cost estimation and pricing?
  • How harmonious is the scheduling process?
  • How efficient is the billing process?
  • What happens if a customer disputes a bill?
  • How efficient is the customer complaint system?
  • How well doe your top management team understand the processes?


Haven’t got time? Really? It could be the best day in your company you ever spent!



Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch
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