Why question to to identify root cause of problem

Per the textbook, in order to understand the causal relationship in business process, manager often asks “whys” to drill down the root cause of failures. Select one (1) project from your working or educational environment and propose at least three (3) “why” questions that you would ask in order to identify root cause of problem. Justify your responses.

In my current position, it is my responsibility to review, and respond to surveys and negative reviews from our customers. I am the marketing director at a car dealership. One ongoing problem that I notice, but my bosses fail to agree with, is that there is a clear problem in our service department. We receive way too many negative reviews and surveys regarding our service department. I often find myself asking these questions:

  • Where is the problem starting? Does it begin with the service advisor lacking communication with customers? Why have we not done anything to better train these service advisors?
  • Why are we overcharging customers for their service hours? We should only be charging them for the time it takes for their vehicle to be fixed. Customers are able to easily figure out how long these processes should take.
  • Why are returning cars to customers before we fix the problem? If we fix something, test drive it, and the problem is still occurring, why would we give it back to the customer? Do we need to train our employees and especially our managers more?

We need to find the route cause of the problem so we can then figure out how to fix it. If we continue letting our service department go in this direction, we are going to lose customers and eventually see a decline in the money we are making through service.


Answer 2

The example I am going to use is when I work as the internet manager for a automotive retailor (car dealership.)  The internet main responsibility was to set appointments for customers to come to the dealership and hopefully purchase a vehicle.  Therefor the bottom line of evaluating the performance of the department was on appointments that showed up to the dealership and made the purchase.  Although, really we could break down more metrics to really see how much effort and what success was made at prior to the customer arriving at the dealership.

The first metric I would want to know and then ask about is how many leads we received and how many of them we successfully contacted?  Our goal is to make contact with 70% of the leads.  If we did not make contact with 70% my first question would be to know how many outbound phone calls were made by each representative in the department.  Each rep is to make 1,000+ calls a month.  From there I will be able to gauge if the effort was there just not with results of if it was because of a lack of effort.

The second question I would ask is home many appointments should and how many purchased?  We like to remain over a 40% closing ration from internet appointments shown to deals.  If the percent is under 40 then our sales team underperformed but anything over 40% they did an outstanding job.

The last question I would ask would be of the internet appointments that came in and purchased what was the breakdown between new and pre-owned vehicles.  We like the ration to be 70% new and 30%used.  These are a few of the most important areas we monitor monthly to make sure we are performing at or above expectations.


Answer 3

I used to work at a travel agency in Dubai for a short period of time. The travel agency had a growing complain about their emails not being answered on time. The customer care representative used to say that they he is answering to all the email within 24 hours of receiving them even on weekends. The company management sat down and they were focusing on answering many questions related to the customer complaints and the claim that was made by the customer care person. I would like to state three of the question they were trying to answer.

  1. Are the customers sending the emails to the wrong email address?
  2. If they are sending the emails to the right email address then why are they not answered on time?
  3. Is the customer care person receiving the emails within a short period of time they have been sent?

To answer these questions, the management sent a series of emails to the customer care person’s email address and left it logged in to check when these emails would be received. These emails tool more than 48 hours to arrive. The issues was identified to be with the email server. This issues was resolved within a day with the web server provider and everything was back to normal.