If you want to make customer service improvements, it’s important to get the input of your team.
One of the most effective ways of gathering their ideas is to run a quality improvement meeting. This checklist will help you to prepare for and run such a meeting, and also provides some pointers on what to do afterwards.
Defining the Meeting
In general terms, you might describe the meeting as a ‘quality circle’ – a group of employees who come together to discuss issues with the processes and procedures in their particular area.
You can run such a meeting from a perspective of: “What can we do to improve our levels of customer service?”
IF your team deal with customers on a daily basis, they are ideally placed to make service improvement suggestions.
Some General Points to Consider
- Six to nine participants is considered ideal for a ‘quality circle’ meeting – enough to generate good ideas, yet not so large that people don’t get the chance to speak. If your team is larger than this, think about how you will give everyone the chance to contribute, e.g. discussing ideas in smaller groups before sharing them with the larger team. (Note: you do not have to restrict the meeting to just your own team. If you feel that others have a valuable contribution to make to the discussion, invite them too.)
- It is vital your team feel they can offer up suggestions without having them dismissed. Ensure that everyone feels that they can openly discuss their ideas and opinions.
- Try not to direct the meeting too rigidly. You are part of the team and will have valid input, but the others shouldn’t feel as if you are dictating the discussion. Contribute where necessary, but allow others to do the same.
- Prevent the meeting from becoming a complaints’ forum. Improvement initiatives will come from having constructive conversations, not by dwelling on negatives.
- The goal of a ‘quality circle’ meeting is not to finish up with a list of ideas that are ready to be implemented immediately. Some of the suggestions will need further investigation or development work.