Thursday, February 15, 2007

Success Secrets - Customer Manufacturing

What if a customer was as much a “product” of a business as a .. well... a product? Peter Drucker said as much when he said “The purpose of a business is to create a customer”. But Mitchell Goozé and Ralph Mroz argue in a manifesto entitled that businesses really don’t “manufacture” customers with the same business rigor that they apply to other manufacturing processes.

They draw an excellent analogy: when your assembly line is not producing widgets to spec, you don’t go yell at the production manager, you open your Deming textbook on process control, or your copy of Goldratt’s The Goal (Theory of Constraints) and you solve the process problems that are slowing you down. However, when you call center is not producing enough sales, do you just give longer pep talk? Or do you focus on process-type “inputs” to the “work cell”? As the authors elaborate in a related White Paper called “Process Management in Marketing and Sales” , you might examine the “inputs” to the call center processes: Who is buying your product? Are you calling the right people? What time of the year do they buy? Are you expecting to sell from the first call? Is that expectation measurable?

The authors aim to take the marketing process from the realm of the luck of the “gifted individual” and place it into the realm of a repeatable, measurable process. Their website has an extensive list of clients who have worked with the authors, as well as a large selection of other White Papers.

Another idea that occurred to me from reading this is, how many of our personal success areas could benefit from process-management thinking?

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