Stacy Gianoulis Explains How to Reduce Cost While Maintaining Client Satisfaction
In the world of business, there will always be opportunities for companies to increase their efficiency. In many instances, this end may be achieved by reducing costs. While this is universally a challenging process, requiring deliberation throughout, it is important to remember that every portion of capital saved represents a positive impact.
When a company is in the process of cost reduction, it is essential to keep the client experience in mind, so that it is not compromised during times of change. Stacy Gianoulis, the Assistant Vice-President for Client Services & Support at Boston University, has an overview illustrating how companies can reduce their costs while maintaining client satisfaction.
Determine the Current State of Affairs
To have the proper perspective and understanding required before any cost-cutting changes can be implemented, you must have an acute awareness of the current state of affairs within your company. Combing over every possible detail, you will need to determine what resources and procedures are functioning acceptably, as well as the elements that could use improvements.
In addition, you will also want to ensure that you collect feedback from workers as well as clients, with your goal to hear from someone at every level in the company. This way, your results will reach closer to the objective truth, providing you with the optimal starting point from which changes can be undertaken. Ideally, the areas in which you decide to cut costs will also root out the inefficiencies within the company.
One way to maintain client satisfaction and maximize efficiency gains while reducing costs is to prioritize clear communication throughout the process. Recognize that when all communication is fully understood the first time it is sent out, all personnel are on the same page and will be on board for changes more quickly.
In order to optimize communication within a company, there are 3 key concepts to examine: ‘Who’, ‘What’, and ‘How’.
‘Who’ refers to the individuals who send out communications on a regular basis. Are all of them adhering to the company guidelines for how messages are to be written and sent out? Do any of them need to improve their communication skills? Additionally, the order in which messages are sent out to individuals can be the key to a greater sense of clarity within a company. Take care to communicate with these individuals first, avoiding the habit of grouping everyone together in one message.
‘What’ refers to the medium in which messages are being sent. The platform on which an individual decides to communicate should not be taken lightly, and a hierarchy needs to be established that reserves each respective medium for a specific purpose. E-mail is ideal for scenarios where information will need to be digested and referenced multiple times; an in-person discussion is helpful when the news being delivered could cause fear or escalate into rumors, as handling these types of conversations face-to-face instills trust.
‘How’ refers to how messages are worded. Is everything clear, concise, simple and easy to understand? Every line of communication that is sent out should adhere to this standard, so that no individuals are left out when it comes to understanding what is being communicated to them.
Stacy Gianoulis on Clustering
It can be difficult to increase staff utilization if your company’s culture places a high value on individual relationships. The concept of clustering involves rearranging staff organizationally into smaller groups or clusters that report up to the same management team, transitioning individual contributors with a small area of support to a team that can cover more ground, while allowing staff to physically remain in their same locations. This helps clients remain confident in their relationships with you by allowing them to interact with the same staff during the time of transition. Through cross-training, evaluating roles and skills, and eliminating open positions, staff utilization can increase and cost can be reduced without impacting the clients. This assumes that an analysis to determine staff capacity has already been completed and revealed that the staff in single, dedicated roles generally have spare capacity in your organization.
Keeping Technology Current
It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but sometimes the process of purchasing new technologies can save costs in the long run. In the modern working world, computers are capable of playing more of a central role in how tasks are accomplished, and they excel in tackling the more mundane, repetitive tasks. With technology able to perform these tasks more quickly, this will free up human workers to focus on the more complicated procedures within the company.
In addition, maintenance is a key component of ensuring that as a company uses machines to perform more and more tasks, this is being done as efficiently as possible. Taking the time to keep programs up-to-date, check the physical quality of machines, and consider new programs that might be better suited to the work at hand are a few examples of ways in which maintenance can reduce costs within a company.
Finally, although it is the intention of every company to retain their client satisfaction during transitional periods of reducing costs, there is one critical action to take in order to make this intention a reality. By openly communicating with your partners and clients about any of the changes that will affect them, you will provide both courtesy and reassurance, inviting them to be a part of the process.
Stacy Gianoulis is currently the Assistant Vice President for Client Services & Support (CS&S) at Boston University. With over 20 years of experience, he has effectively managed and led 100 employees as well as ensured that both students and faculty have access to cutting-edge electronic resources at all times.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.