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X5 CROPS Report: Operational Efficiencies – June 2013

Guest blog by Dennis Bridges, MBA

This month’s CROPS Report has a focus on operational efficiencies and customer service.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction

As is evident in the feature article, simple greetings and efforts made from all levels within an organization will keep your customers coming back. Living Sounds Hearing Centre is a key example of a business that has capitalized on its internal processes and culture that focus on customer satisfaction. What are you doing for your customers to keep them satisfied?

Risk Management

Risk Management

Having a process for interacting with your customers is a key step in mitigating risk in your business. Have you given thought to the way your employees greet, interact and work with clients? Could your process be refined? Poor customer service experiences can threaten your business, therefore it is imperative to build systems, offer training, and build a work culture that focuses on customer service and the value-add your business can offer.

Operational Efficiencies

Operational Efficiencies

The feature article is below!



People are a key ingredient to ensuring you have built efficient processes into your operations when working with customers. Have you garnered input from your employees in how you can improve the ‘customer service experience’ process? Buy-in for any operational changes is a must and your employees are a great resource for learning how you can strengthen your relationship with your clients, guests and customers. Is it time to start the conversation?



The processes you build into you customer service experience have a huge impact on sales. In your business, what do you offer that keeps your customers coming back, encourages referral opportunities and spreads positive word of mouth? If you’re unsure it’s time to re-examine what you’re doing operationally that keep the customers coming and make you a referable organization.

Feature Article:

This month’s feature CROPS article focuses on Operational Efficiencies and Is Customer Service Dead?

Living Sounds

Written by: Dennis Bridges, MBA, X5 Management, Inc.

A few days ago I brought my car in for service, it’s a great car and I rarely have issues with it so I won’t mention the make. When I arrived at the dealership to drop it off, let’s just say I had a less then desirable experience.  Not only did they have my car all day, they brought it into the shop 5 minutes before I was scheduled to pick it up.  Only to tell me I would need to bring it back in a few days so they could get the parts they needed to fix it.  At this point, I would have the opportunity to go through this wonderful process again.   However, all of this would have been music to my ears, IF, I hadn’t felt like I was a burden to the people working in the service department.  “What do you want?” was the welcome greeting I received as I waited patiently to hand over the keys to one of my most valuable possessions.  The people at the service counter were clearly annoyed by my existence, and were successful in communicating with their tone that neither my time, nor having my business was at all important to them.  This mentality seems to be more and more common and has me questioning whether customer service is a lost art.

Over the last year I’ve had the good fortune of working with a company that takes great care in the way they treat their guests.  They pay attention to the PROCESS of customer service. The people at Living Sounds Hearing Centre make an effort to be your host, as well as offer counseling and provide hearing solutions. I frequented their downtown location where they have a handful of wonderful gals at the front counter – one of whom is Elaine Sutherland.  Though not a customer, everyday I walked into the office, Elaine would say hello, take my coat and/or pour me a coffee, and engage in a little chitchat, all while keeping track of a call, email, and several different tasks all at the same time. A few days ago I asked her how she does it and she gave me some great tips on the process.

Elaine’s Tips for Becoming a Customer Service Star:

  • Step 1 – Attitude: Be positive, focus on the good things that happen, and keep your energy up by smiling and supporting your team members. (Drink coffee when needed) 🙂
  • Step 2 – Mindset: Appreciate the customer and having the opportunity to help them.  They pay the bills and they make a choice to work with you. Don’t let them walk away angry and thank them for coming in, in the first place.
  • Step 3 – Attention: Be present, do your best to leave distractions at the door.  Everyone is busy, but the customer should feel that his or her time is more important to you than anything else. Keep a task list and prioritize, so as you’re helping customers who interrupt your workflow, so you don’t lose track of things.

Have you thought about the process associated with your customer service and its impact on your operations? Are you being a gracious host to your customers? When was the last time you thanked them for doing business with you, or offered to take their coat? There’s no time like the present.

Visit Living Sounds Hearing Centre for a fantastic customer service experience.

Here’s to your business success!!

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