Improving Customer Support With Kaizen Principles

In today’s dynamic business environment, it is impossible to work without valuable insights. Implementing the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen lets you discover vital details about the drivers of customer loyalty and implement practices that improve your customer service and support functions.

Modern customers’ social and emotional needs are continuously shifting. That is why insights from consumers’ lives, choices, and expectations form a crucial tapestry of the customer journey and provide a comprehensive perspective of your business process—ultimately helping your brand thrive.

Upon obtaining a comprehensive perspective of your business, organizational goals like “change for the better” or “continuous improvement” aligned with Kaizen principles become easily achievable.  

Your brand is your impact. In the world of technology, where advancements are constantly being made, choosing the best for your business is crucial. Implementing these principles can have a multitude of positive effects on your business. In this blog, let’s explore how implementing this Japanese business philosophy can help you in your business.

Also read: The Importance Of Customer Sentiment Analysis

What is Kaizen business philosophy

In Japan, Kaizen implies “change for the better” or “continuous improvement.” The philosophy supports continuous, incremental process changes that can sustain high efficiency.

It focuses on decreasing waste by eliminating overproduction, improving quality, being more efficient, having less idle time, and reducing unnecessary activities. 

Kaizen in the context of customer service

In the context of customer service and support, what is “waste” according to the Kaizen philosophy? The answer is “poor quality of service and support.” Bad service is the number one cause of friction in the customer journey and one of the reasons clients switch brands. If brands can adopt the Japanese customer service and support philosophy, everyone can experience a Zen-like state of mind.

Common problems that can be solved when you apply the Kaizen philosophy in customer service:

  • Customers have to contact the company multiple times for the same reason.
  • Customers are waiting for a response after requesting help from a live agent.
  • Customers have to repeat the same information to multiple support agents.
  • Agent’s inability to locate customer’s purchase and support history.
  • Insufficient communication between brand representatives and customers.
  • Support agent burnout due to repetitive and heavy task responsibilities.
  • An influx of repeat customer inquiries and service requests.
  • Agent inefficiencies or process inadequacies that cripple the service delivery process.
  • Poor quality of service and support systems.
  • Website/software application downtime.

The Kaizen philosophy aims to solve the above-mentioned customer support issues and create an environment in your brand’s support center where the following customer-centric attributes are adopted:

  • Fast response times to customer queries and tickets.
  • Contextual engagement and communication with customers across multiple channels.
  • All-around consistent and reliable service delivery.
  • Availability of easy-to-use tools for customer self-service
  • AI-powered productivity tools for support agents to deliver efficient customer service.

All these contribute to addressing customer queries as fast as possible. The result is a satisfied and loyal workforce committed to delivering the best experience to your customers. A few other benefits include reducing overhead expenditure, cost savings, and turning potential loss-making situations into profitable opportunities. 

The Kaizen philosophy concerns all business processes within an organization that continuously improve operations, improve the quality of customer service and support, and involve all employees. 

Also read: Empowering Support Agents And Optimizing Their Workloads: The Winning Equation (e-Magazine)

Objectives attainable by applying Kaizen in customer service

  • Improvement in customer service processes
  • Delivering improved quality products/services 
  • Implementing advanced technologies across touchpoints.
  • Knowing your customers’ choices and preferences.
  • Continuously monitoring business processes and customer journey
  • Empowering customer-facing teams with the latest customer support technologies
  • Implementing best practices throughout your organization
  • Equating customer success to organizational success

Applying the concept of Kaizen in customer service

Most businesses know the secret to providing excellent brand experiences is creating matchless experiences for customers and team members (employees). 

However, success hinges on understanding key CX trends, assessing changing customer expectations, identifying the biggest agent experience roadblocks, and pursuing activities that augur well for your business. 

Can you think of any industry that does not require a customer service and support team? The answer is none. Everybody can apply the Kaizen philosophy to their businesses. 

That means any business, whether retail, eCommerce, insurance, banks, telecom service providers, manufacturers, logistics service providers, healthcare service providers, consultancies, utility companies support service providers, etc., needs a dedicated customer support center.

These support centers are instrumental for organizations to give their clients superior quality deliverables and a memorable experience.


Improved agent productivity and efficiency 

Who is responsible for ensuring a first-class customer experience within the organization? Everybody is responsible for ensuring the customer gets treated to the best experience. That is why it is essential to involve team members and empower them to contribute to the product/service delivery improvement process.   

Team members can contribute to the process by sharing ideas, experiences, solutions, etc., to make the process meaningful and ensure business processes are modeled in a way that enhances employee experiences. 

Applying the Kaizen methodology to your customer service strategies can help identify bottlenecks and problem areas within your process. Identifying wrinkles makes it easier to iron them out. Your brand shines once you address inefficiencies, rectify errors, and improve processes to upgrade the quality of your service output.

Your customers enjoy fantastic service experiences while your teams thrive with increased agent productivity — resulting in better revenue for you.

Ultimately, the philosophy aims to add value and improve product/service and support delivery, improving the quality of overall employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX). Let us look at it in detail.

Also read: Agent Experience Matters — Here's Why You Should Pay Attention to It

Benefits of implementing Kaizen in business operations

Consumers today have welcomed modernization and believe technology innovation can fulfill society’s needs. Implementing Kaizen principles in business and customer service operations can provide many benefits, as mentioned below. 

Consumers enjoy better quality products and services

Product performance and customer service are closely linked in any quality program; the more significant the attention to product quality in production, the fewer customer service and support requests — ensuring the customer experience remains top-notch.

Increased employee engagement and satisfaction

As a customer support provider—in-house or outsourced—your top priority must be creating a suitable environment for your support agents. The effort must center around creating an environment where employees can thrive, an objective that can be fulfilled with the Japanese business philosophy.

Cost savings

Using artificial intelligence (AI) in customer service and targeted, error-free, streamlined communication can do wonders for your business. Appropriate technology can guarantee significant improvements in key operational metrics and save costs. Using AI in contact centers can deliver impressive results and boost customers' overall experience.

Competitive advantage

Customer service has become the most essential brand differentiator. Reducing customer service response time improves the buyer’s journey and ensures a frictionless experience between the brand and its clients. It brings repeat sales, boosts retention, and contributes to your bottom line.  

Also read: Deliver Human-Centered CX in a Tech-Powered World (eBook)

How ThinkOwl improves customer service and support

People buy from people, and the more you are passionate about your product and customer service, the more your customers will notice and stay with you. In a sea of countless competitors vying for attention, it’s crucial to have something remarkable that sets you apart. 

ThinkOwl is an intelligent service helpdesk that combines advanced features with the powers of Artificial Intelligence (AI). ThinkOwl lets customers contact your brand across multiple channels like email, phone calls, website chat, self-service portal, social media, etc.

Much like the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen, as agents work on cases, ThinkOwl empowers them with its AI-powered tools. In addition to this, the intelligent customer service solution also offers the following features for you to customize your support operations completely:

  • Productivity tools to automate helpdesk workflows
  • Content tools to set an even tone of communication
  • Multichannel facility
  • "Intelligent guided mode" to automatically queue the suitable cases for the right agents
  • "Intelligent suggestions" to handle cases efficiently
  • "Conversation Bot" as a virtual agent to connect with the visitors
  • Customer portal to enable self-service
  • "Knowledge," a central repository for all your documents, files, and helpful articles
  • "Discover," a real-time analytics dashboard.
  • Tasks dashboard for all users to work on their case-related and independent activities

ThinkOwl helpdesk not only aids your support teams in being more productive but also helps maintain a standard of efficient customer service experiences. The solution is also easy to operate and cost-effective as it does not incur any capital expenditure for hardware installations. All you need is an internet connection, and you are connected. 

Pay attention to details, ramp up service quality, and deliver an exceptional customer experience. Sign up now for a 30-day free trial.

Like it? Share it.