Go and See
One of the principles of Lean is "Go and See." When there's a problem with a product or service inside the four walls of your business, you can just walk over to see what's going on. This is what Toyota does when a production line stops.
But what do you do when your product is half a world away?
Go and See Globally
Technology now makes it possible to "go and see" anywhere in the world.
With the QI Macros, I have customers all over the world. When they have a problem, I use gotomeeting.com to go and see. As long as there's an internet connection, I can see what's happening on their computer in real time.
What people say on the phone or in an email is only a marginal representation of what's actually happening. Since I support four operating systems and six versions of Excel that each have three different service packs, being able to go and see exactly what's going on is invaluable.
If the customer gives me control of their mouse and keyboard, I can usually diagnose and fix their problem online and coach them on how to use the software more effectively.
What Can You Do To Go and See?
Instead of sending technicians to Timbuktu, is there a digital way to go and see?
So many cell phones have video capabilities...is there someone who can take a video of your product or service and send it to your phone?
So many laptops have built-in webcameras...is there someone with a laptop and internet connection who can stream a live video to you? (If parents can use a nanny-cam, so can you.)
I know one company that has a half dozen Flip video cameras (about $130 each). They just overnight a camera with instructions on how to shoot a video. They enclose a prepaid overnight return envelope. In three or four days, they can get video of their product working wherever it is on the planet.
Here's My Point
The ability to "go and see" what's going on with your product or service is only limited by your imagination. Live or timely video will help clarify what spoken and written words cannot. This will shorten response times and delight customers.
What can you do now to go and see?
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