7 Ways to ramp up your QA and improve your customer service

Quality assurance for the benefit of your customers? Yes, it’s true it can be done and not remain the folk lore that some, more cynical among us, may think.

Whenever an organization begins to consider quality from a customer point of view, a whole new world of opportunity and customer satisfaction can open up. But don’t get too confident, just yet. Just to be annoying, those potential revelations can also shine a spotlight toward the proverbial can of worms.

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How these 6 Processes can change the direction of your business

Every business wants to move onward and upward, but at times processes and their associated pathways can get messy. In particular, there seems to be 6 main areas of process stress which, alarmingly, cover quite a number of potential internal breakdowns.

Your future business strategies depend on efficient and effective business processes. If the following 6 standard processes can be observed and bettered, your organization will gain a better view to identifying opportunities and future successes.

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Why you need to keep Training Records

Training serves as a valuable tool and we are all aware of its importance.

When staff are knowledgeable and confident in their role, this allows management’s ability to transfer that confidence to higher authorities knowing that staff are being trained correctly. Along with this comes the need to keep correct training records.

If you think this simply means ticking off someone’s name and stuffing a completed assessment in a file you may be in for a shock. Proper record keeping goes way beyond just that.

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Document Management isn't just for documents

The way we conduct business these days is very different from say, ten years ago. We have now learned a few key essentials, and have had to focus on various elements to enable us to move forward within our market and grow as an organization. 

Document management is one of those focus points, so it’s time to look at document management and recognize the power this holds outside of merely digital record keeping.

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5 tips to help you meet Goals and Deadlines

Procrastination, poor time management and simple lack of communication when deadlines are looming can lead us all into a free fall. The results can be very hard to swallow. At the very least, they can willingly escort us to a world of indecision and at the worst, unrealized potential.But before I send most of you off to the naughty corner, I think a second chance may be prudent. Whether it is the potential for failure or just our own internal dialogue, goals and deadlines seems to strike the most fear.

So what can be done to alleviate tensions that seem to accompany the defined period of time that is the dreaded deadline?

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7 Reasons employees often pushback against change

In the business world, resistance has all kinds of connotations associated and there are reasons why people suddenly get quiet when presented, in particular, with change. If you think about the word resistance, it tends to invoke negativity right from the beginning. The word itself suggests confrontation, or the idea that a battle may be looming. So what can we expect here? Tears, anger, passive aggressive silences? Yes, yes and yes. Sounds like all your family gatherings rolled into one, doesn’t it? Just saying.

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What to expect with ISO 9001:2015

Unless organizations have been hiding, willingly or not, under rocks for the past few years, most would be familiar with the ISO 9001 international standard that specifies requirements for process and quality management accreditation. It is clear that this standard has assisted business with the process management, without a doubt.

So what now? Well, there’s now a new kid on the block in the form of a revisited and revised standard. Enter, stage right, the ISO 9001:2015!

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How often should Processes be reviewed?

Changes in environment, whether that be advances and implementation of new technologies, changes in physical environment, or key personnel could mean that, before your very eyes, your processes may become outdated, inefficient and obsolete.

The need for continuous improvement of processes is the main reason reviewing is important, but the time taken to do those reviews are key to business growth. So, what am I saying? Do you need to have a process to review a process?

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Man is not made to change

People often try to take the shortest route or the path of least resistance to achieve a goal. It’s a human reflex. However it is a lot worse if laziness becomes a goal in itself.

In many (often larger) organizations, there are always employees that see it as their duty to do as little as possible. Unfortunately, they also often try to drag others down with them – sometimes through intimidation.

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No news is NOT good news !

A couple of years ago, one of my colleagues at Vivaldi Software had an annoying problem with his mobile phone connection. So, in a fit of temporary insanity, he decided to call his Telco’s helpdesk to complete a support ticket. After submitting the ticket, he patiently waited for someone to call back with a solution. However, a few days turned into a week, and then into several weeks. 

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The horizontal line of text

In this article about layout and design, I want to elaborate on one of the most basic, fundamental requirements to allow an instructional text to be read quickly and without unnecessary cognitive load: the horizontal line of the text. 

Our eyes basically slide unconsciously to the next line of text or paragraph if there is no clear horizontal line to follow. We find it difficult to remain focused on the correct line of text.

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The fear of the consequences of change

One of the main reasons for resistance to change is the fear of the consequences. 
Are we talking about a fear of the unknown?  Maybe that too, but it’s a bit deeper than just a fear of the unknown. 
What exactly are we so afraid of then?  Well, it is mainly the fear of the consequences of making mistakes.

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4 reasons to devote more time to the layout of a text

Everyone intuitively knows how important it is that written text is laid out in a well-organised manner.However, far too often, the aesthetic aspect takes precedence over the functional – usually because the writer has no idea how important correct layout is.

That is why I want to briefly point out the different effects layout has on a reader. In this blog article, I offer four scientifically proven reasons to devote more time to correctly designing your text. This is partially intended as an introduction to a series of forthcoming blog articles which describe best practices for creating work instructions and procedures.

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Why? Because I said so (!?)

A familiar scene that plays out almost daily in many families:

Child (7 years old): “Why can’t I, daddy?”

Father: “Because I said so!”

Child: “That’s not an answer!”

The first signs of early adolescence? Perhaps. Maybe children are getting mouthier these days? Could be. A lack of respect for parental authority? Certainly a point of discussion. But there is no two ways about it, the little devil is actually right. “Because I said so” is not a good answer to the question of “why.” “Why?” you ask.

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Tough objectives lead to strong results

Tough objectives lead to strong results. Perseverance is what drives us to achieve those objectives.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. We all know that.

But in business, we are sometimes a bit too impatient when it comes to seeing results.In our haste and rush to find the “quick wins”, we often choose the quickest, but not always the best, way.

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Beethoven, the ice cream man, on-hold music and candy

Every day we unconsciously surrender to the power of associations. And sometimes their annoying and even painful side effects.

Take, for example, the incredibly beautiful Für Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven. What comes to mind when you hear this world-famous tune? Probably not what Beethoven was thinking of when he composed it. 

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Perception of quality

Whenever I hear the word perception, I always think back to a discussion I had with an experienced business owner from my town.

He wanted to give his eighteen-year old son a life lesson about perception and told him the following story.

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