Kaizen involves making small incremental improvements in a company. By implementing Kaizen into the company culture, it can be permanent. New employees will be trained in the principles of the Kaizen process, and the change will be sustained for years to come.
When considering how to improve customer satisfaction with Kaizen implementation, organizations must begin by recognizing the problem and identifying opportunities for improvement.
To do this, they should engage cross-functional personnel in the problem-solving process. Then test the proposed solution(s) in small groups before spreading them across the entire organization. The process should be supported by the top leadership of the company and include training and appropriate communication between employees.
A Kaizen committee should be formed of five to ten employees. This committee should meet weekly to discuss ideas for continuous improvement and to summarize the changes made after implementing them.
Let’s take an example of initiating Kaizen in an engineering company.
To get started, a Kaizen team must be established. The team should include a manufacturing engineer, a design engineer, two people from marketing & sales function and a quality engineer, in addition to the Kaizen leader. In some cases, the team should also include customers and suppliers to ensure success.
The team must review the current state of the business, product mix, customer base, complaint records etc. and identify the opportunities for improvement. Once the team has identified these opportunities, they can create a strategy to improve customer satisfaction.
The principles of Kaizen emphasize the value of continuous incremental improvements.
Kaizen-ing runs via Kaizen events. During Kaizen events, the Kaizen team must meet and work together with people at grassroot levels from the sales and marketing function to come up with potential solution(s) to the problem(s). These meetings should be centered around a specific problem such as- an increase in defective products, product returns, delayed deliveries etc. Also, the meetings must be held in a physical location within the company- the Gemba.
Further, two tools which will be extremely helpful in this initiative are- Kaizen board and Taguchi loss function.
Tip: The Kaizen board is an excellent place to document ideas for improvements.
Moreover, besides the Kaizen leader, the Kaizen sponsor aka process owner should also hold overall responsibility for the results of the Kaizen event. So, before you can implement a Kaizen board in your company, first make sure your stakeholders are willing to make it happen.
Tip: If Kaizen events are part of your business culture, you may want to consider holding them on a regular basis. Often, a Kaizen team uses a Kaizen Template to stay on track and initiate Kaizen in the organization. Using this method, each member of the team contributes to customer satisfaction and teamwork. You can read more on Kaizen here.
Besides improving the customer relationship process, Kaizen also promotes employee engagement and ownership of the company culture. With the right approach, your organization can benefit from increased employee morale and productivity. The benefits of Kaizen extend well beyond improved customer satisfaction!
Are you planning to initiate a Kaizen culture at your workplace?
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