The phrase “workflow” has recently become, in the business world, a bit of a buzzword. And while most business owners may understand why workflow is necessary, it’s hard to really wrap your head around it before you really see it in practice.
Workflows can help streamline and automate repeatable business operations, reducing the space for mistakes and improving overall effectiveness.
This, in effect, is growing the company dramatically. Managers will make quicker, better decisions and your team are motivated to work together in a more efficient and agile environment.
Developing a workflow inside your company is no small feat. This can also be extremely difficult, because you’ll need to see the big picture while paying attention to the hundreds of tiny specifics that go into it at the same time.
Here are some ways workflows can help your company:
1. More Insight into Business Processes
Data is one of the most important commodities on an enterprise. It gives feedback and insights that can guarantee future growth and progress. Hand processing data can be time-consuming and sometimes tedious, involving spreadsheets and re-entry of data.
Process intelligence tools, however, offer large-scale, enterprise-grade analysis without the need for manual collation.
Organizations gain full insight into the output of their workflows by using a process intelligence. It is easy to see where changes can be made with the data analysis and customizable analytics.
Process intelligence harnesses the power of artificial intelligence, collects and analyzes raw data without the need for spreadsheets. Therefore, process intelligence is a critical resource for making changes and enhancements that are of long-term benefit to the organisation.
Mapping your processes in a workflow helps you to see your business more clearly. And if you have a well-established set of business processes, will you really know if it produce results for you? Are the processes as good as it can be?
One of the big reasons why workflow is important is that it gives you more insight into your processes. From then on, you can use the insights to enhance your workflows, and increase your business’ bottom line.
2. Identifying Redundancies
There are hundreds of needless and repetitive things occurring everyday in many companies. When you have more insight into the process , you will decide what really is needed.
Of course, recognizing and removing redundant tasks has untold advantages – it generates value for your company. Rather than waste time on a distractions, your team will be able to concentrate on what is important, and what contributes to the company.
As such, the more redundant processes are removed, the better your company will perform.
3. Increase Accountability and Reduce Micromanagement
In a business environment micromanagement can cause many problems: people hate being micromanaged and (most) managers hate having to do it. Studies have shown that micromanagement is often cited as the biggest reason to quit a job.
Nonetheless, there may be no other option than micromanagement in some situations. There’s a lot of work to do and not everyone is as inspired to do that.
By mapping the process clearly, everybody knows what tasks need to be done, who will be completing them, and when they need to be done.
When the process is well documented, team leaders will spend less time micromanaging their team members. There’s no debating what the next steps are, or whether “Step 4” is incorrect. Everybody in the team knows exactly what’s going on and what needs to be done.
That, in effect, would increase work satisfaction and most likely strengthen management-employee relationships.
4. Improved communication and collaboration
Have you ever thought that your place of work is like a telephone game? Everyone is thinking about it but the idea gets muddled somewhere along the way. Bad communication is a prevalent issue in the workplace.
Communication at the workplace is important, as it affects every other part of the organization, according to this article in the Harvard Business Review.
There are situations where the organization’s biggest conflict is due to miscommunication – staff and management supposedly “disagree,” even though both are after the same objectives.
Which leads us to another major reason why workflow is important: Process visibility and transparency can significantly improve communication in the workplace. In a nutshell, it keeps everyone on the same page, preventing miscommunication, confusion, and frustration.
5. Provide better customer service
MTTR or mean time to resolution is one of many common internal measurements for customer service. A low MTTR–equating to customers’ problems being solved faster–contributes to higher CSAT (customer satisfaction) and NPS (Net Promoter Score).
What better place exists than customer service to use the power of workflow to reduce resolution time?
So, it is important to constantly find ways to improve the customer experience. Unfortunately, customer requests or complaints can be easily overlooked when you are relying on outdated manual systems.
This results in dissatisfied customers who will end up taking their business elsewhere. Workflow can, however, help you provide better customer service and respond to customer complaints more quickly.
Here are some ways workflows can help you improve customer service:
For a number of causes consumer complaints are escalating. A new or first-level agent can not be able to solve a problem, and the need for a more professional agent. Perhaps a customer is irritated by a policy or perceived lack of consideration for his / her problem and requests to talk with a manager.
The case needs to move quickly from one person or team to another for whatever reason.
Workflow helps to ensure the accurate execution of new tasks. The case must be diverted to one person or party, and in cases where resources are not inaccessible, detours may be set. Rapid improvement is one of the quickest ways to de-escalate a crisis, and the workflow will deliver.
The commitment to the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) is close to escalations. Although still requiring prompt action, SLAs are difficult because they may differ within customer service: certain types of customers will require a solution within a few days, whereas it may be a few hours for other customers.
Similarly, various SLAs may have the terms of service for specific goods.
When a case is formed the ticking of the SLA clock starts. If progress delays or stops, workflow may trigger actions automatically to bring others into the fold to ensure no breach. And with an audit trail, scenarios can be checked and learned from where SLAs were both reached and skipped.
Follow the sun
Some SLAs may create more challenges. Many companies sell goods and services that require 24X7 delivery of such products or services to consumers around the world or to consumers. An invitation to call back the next business day when a question arises is not an option.
For this situation, workflow will match the requirements of customer SLA to the business capabilities available for continuing to work the case. The organization that provides the product or service can have multiple contact centers across the globe, or multiple changes in one area.
Instead of depending on agents to do manual tasks (which may lead to failing to reassign open cases at the end of a shift), enter workflow. Rules may be set to ensure that cases where continued attention is needed are properly redirected to new teams.
Start creating and managing workflow today
Whether you need to close leads faster, streamline your processes, streamline your expenses, or ensure that new team members are engaged, workflow management software can be helpful.
Workflows can make your business more agile and efficient, increase employee performance through collaboration and clear instructions and boost your bottom line, all while automating repetitive tasks and creating useful documentation for critical processes.
Zoadesk offers a process management tool that can be used to address issues in all business units. If you’re ready to deploy reliable, trouble-free workflow management software, sign up for our pilot programme.