Have you ever heard the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out”? It was coined by an IBM programmer & trainer named George Fuechsel, who used “garbage in, garbage out” as a way of reminding his students that a computer just processes what it is given.
Put incorrect data into a program… you’ll get garbage out.
This phrase can be just as relevant when it comes to your order & fulfillment process. Incorrect, invalid or incomplete information coming in as an order can waste an inordinate amount of time and resources going back and forth and only serves to frustrate all involved.
When you solve the problem of “garbage in”, amazing things can happen. We reduced one process from an average of 20 days down to just 2 minutes simply by getting all the correct information directly to the right team member for action.
So what are the Golden Rules to ensure you don’t have “Garbage in” and trouble ahead?
- Only ask for what is absolutely necessary – remember every click (thereby people’s time) is precious. A classic example is asking for customer profile information (email, phone numbers) when you already know them.
- Use interactive forms which expand and gather relevant detail – don’t overwhelm people up front, start simple and build if required.
- Help people with hints and examples – you’ll know where common misunderstandings happen, provide guidance.
- Validate and offer auto-completion for input as it is entered – key details like office addresses or cost centres are common pitfalls.
- Never accept a request that is not complete and actionable – this is key. Does the team have everything they need in order to action immediately? Follow-ups cost everyone unnecessary time and effort.
Autocomplete makes life so much easier.