Visiting one of the most popular fast food chains in my hometown lately left me wondering for days on how they manage to function. On the weekdays the restaurant’s service is usually a class apart, but during peak hours and on the weekends it crashes. Waiters and chefs shout to get the orders ready, customers huff and puff with impatience, and the line feels miles long.

Why is it that a well-known restaurant performs extremely well on some days, but fails on the rest?

At first, the answer seems so obvious: Of course, the employees must be the problem, right?

Wrong.

Although firing the servers and the chef may be the most tempting solution in the moment, it won’t solve the larger problem. When the only way the orders get from the server to the kitchen is with a shout, then the process itself is the problem.

And it’s not an uncommon one. In fact, 100% of companies have a process problem somewhere. Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest churn. If you’ve got multiple customers complaining about the same issues, or if you’re losing more deals than you’re winning but don’t know why, here are some tips that should help.

1. Be more transparent. Don’t let ambiguity and confusion cost you from closing the sale. Processes within companies and teams should be simple — not complex. Have a system in place to assign ownership to every step of your process, so everyone is aware of who’s responsible for which part.

 2. Pave the way. Sketch and set a proper sequence for each of your tasks. This way every task flows through the path you’ve designed, and everyone in your team executes each task without wondering what to do next.

 3. Settle the details sooner. Set up an approval process so your system can automatically take care of any pending requests. Have the right people involved from the very start.

 4. Get the right information at the right time. It’s not enough if your processes just happen; it’s equally crucial to know what happens at every stage so that deals don’t fall through the cracks. Start by setting up the fields you want to see as deals progress, and get the contextual information you need. Don’t rely on your memory every single time: Let your system remind you of the tasks you have to do at every step of your process.

 5. Automate important actions to make sure your process runs smoothly. Set up actions within your system to automatically perform tasks for you like sending an email, scheduling a call, or updating an order’s status. This way you don’t have to manually perform these tasks every single time you get a new lead or need to contact a prospect. 

Stay tuned for my next post which will talk you through the easiest way to improve your process so that it’s more efficient, accurate, and easily repeatable.

Jyothi Suresh
Product Marketing