Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – November 30, 2015

When I reflect back on some recent conversations with clients and prospective clients, prioritization has been a key theme. Where should we be spending time and effort? What priorities will provide us with the best results? We have a lot of initiatives on the go, which ones make the most sense?

When having these discussions, I always start with having them focus on what they want to achieve. What is your ideal future state? Where do you want to be in six months?

Then I have them review strategies and initiatives that best align with where they want to be and can have a significant impact.

If you are having an issue with prioritization, it’s because you have too many priorities.

Consider this question: What can you do that will provide you with significant benefit and help you rapidly progress towards your ideal future state?

If you can answer that question, you will have issues with prioritization.

Looking for more insights?
Are you a small or medium-sized business owner looking to accelerate growth and maximize profitability? Then you need to register for my free workshop on How to Accelerate Growth Through Operational Excellence.
Want to become more adept at Operational Excellence? Check out my new Operational Excellence program.
Check out my podcast series called Hockey Management, where I use hockey as an analogy for successful business results.
Prefer watching videos? The take a look at my short videos providing operational excellence tips.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

Is your operational excellence function acting like King Midas?

I just delivered a teleconference to operational excellence executives and told them four ways to create a thriving operational excellence function in their organizations:

  1. Act like King Midas. Everything the operational excellence department touches should turn to gold. The job of an operational excellence department is to make the organization better, not support it.
  2. Lead Them Through the Tunnel. Show the organization the light on how to better prioritize so that only the best strategies and ideas are being worked on.
  3. Be The Fountain of Youth for Ideas. A thriving operational excellence function is the constant source of new ideas and new opportunities. It helps make the intrinsic extrinsic by identifying best practices and key pieces of information and figuring out how to share and replicate it across the organization.
  4. Be a Jack of all Trades and Master of All. An operational excellence department needs to prod, poke, and provoke. It needs to be part strategic adviser, part therapist. Part provocateur and part voyeur. It needs to see things differently and provide new insights and perspectives.

A thriving and valuable operational excellence function will help the organization generate revenue, attract and retain customers, identify and implement new ideas, and maximize profitability. If your operational excellence function isn’t doing that, then you are doing something wrong.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – November 23, 2015

I want recount for you a recent experience I had with American Airlines, not to pick on AA, but to use it as a case study for what many of you are doing to your customers.

I called American Airlines reservations last week to book a flight to see a client in Philadelphia. Almost one and half hours and three people later, I finally had my ticket booked. Here are some of the particulars with some general questions for you to consider.

The agent I spoke to was in a call centre with other agents and the background noise was so loud, it sounded like she was in a noisy restaurant. I had to keep yelling my credit card information into the phone.

  • Are your employees taking customer calls in a place where they can best focus on the customer?

The travel voucher I was using to book the flight was issued in Canadian dollars, but the AA reservation system only accepts US dollars. It took 20 minutes and three people to figure out how to apply the voucher. Not to mention that it was a paper voucher and needed to be mailed in to be applied.

  • Is your technology or your internal processes limiting your ability to resolve customer issues quickly and effectively?

After all this was completed, I contacted the executive responsible for the customer experience at AA (whose title was SVP of the Customer Experience). I received a message from the Customer Relations department on behalf of this executive, who then proceeded to tell me they have no incoming phone lines so I can’t call them back.

  • Are you providing customers an easy way to get in touch with you?

What American Airlines forgot is that every customer complaint is an opportunity to connect with customers. It is an opportunity to help those customers become more loyal. Or even become evangelists for the brand. Had AA handled this properly, I could have become a more loyal customer. Instead, I will avoid using AA at all costs.

Are you providing customer service or doing your customers a disservice?

Looking for more insights?
Are you a small or medium-sized business owner looking to accelerate growth and maximize profitability? Then you need to register for my free workshop on How to Accelerate Growth Through Operational Excellence.
I will also be hosting a teleconference on November 27 on Why Your Operational Excellence Function is Failing. Click here for more details and to register.
Want to become more adept at Operational Excellence? Check out my new Operational Excellence program.
Check out my podcast series called Hockey Management, where I use hockey as an analogy for successful business results.
Prefer watching videos? The take a look at my short videos providing operational excellence tips.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

American Airlines and Customer Disservice – Part 2

I thought I would continue to write about my ongoing saga with American Airlines, not so much as to pick on AA (as I do need to fly with them twice in the next month), but more of an experiment and a learning experience.

In my original post, I laid out the initial events on my phone call. I did finally get my ticket booked after 1 hour and 25 minutes on the phone, but wanted to add a few things that have happened since that original post:

  • In the middle of the call, I was transferred to the Resolutions department without being told and then had to provide the same information for a third time.
  • I was then told I needed to mail in my travel voucher before my ticket could be issued. Why did they mail me a hard copy voucher if I need to mail it back to use it?
  • I was then told to call 72 hours before my flight if a ticket had not yet been issued to me to ensure I could actually travel on my flight. Why is the onus on me to do all the work?
  • I asked how long it would take to process my voucher once received and was told “It depends how busy they are.” Is that really what people should be telling their customers?
  • I tweeted about my experience and received this response from AA, “We’re sorry for any trouble you’re having applying your voucher. Our agents will work together to get you taken care of.” You mean those same agents who took almost two hours to book my original ticket? No thanks….
  • I sent an email to the SVP of Customer Experience providing the details of my ticket-booking saga. This morning I received a message from the Customer Relations department as a follow-up to my email. However, I can’t call them back because they don’t have an incoming phone number for me to call. Imagine that, a Customer Relations department with no way for customers to contact them.

More to come, I’m sure…..

 

 

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – November 16, 2015

We always have to stay alert and be on our toes. There is always someone who is going to come after us. We have to show resolve in the face of tragedy.

My guess is these are the prevalent feelings in France today. And that would be the natural reaction. It was tragic what happened on Friday night. It cannot be undone, and maybe it couldn’t have even been prevented. But, what happens next can be controlled. How the French people react to this terror will define them for years to come, both domestically and on the world stage.

The U.S.’s reaction to the September 11 attacks continues to define its presence and role in the world. France can do the same. Attacks against ISIS have already started, the French people are getting together to show support. They are showing their resolve. It’s important they do not waver or stop.

More often than not, it’s not about preventing tragedy, it’s about how you come back from it.

Looking for more insights?
Want to become more adept at Operational Excellence? Check out my new Operational Excellence program.
Check out my podcast series called Hockey Management, where I use hockey as an analogy for successful business results.
Prefer watching videos? The take a look at my short videos providing operational excellence tips.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

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