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Take a closer look at what's on our mind

How poor service comes at a price - and some tips for best practice delivery

Posted by Steve Alderson on April 26, 2012

Last week saw Yodel controversially raising prices for service to meet consumer service demands and match the ever-increasing need for flexibility.

The UK's largest parcel delivery company put the price hike down to the enormous growth in online shopping, and enhancements to its service, including a six day a week, increasing to seven days during December, with the removal of premium charges for weekend deliveries, and standard pricing across the UK. It also referenced other technology enhancements such as SMS and an improved online service. All good enhancements, which unfortunately backfired.

The outcome was public outrage and a host of negative comments from consumers who had experienced poor service, and demonstrated how bad service can damage a brand and come to the forefront at the first opportunity.

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5 ways to provide service excellence

Posted by Steve Alderson on April 17, 2012

Over the past few months we’ve been helping organisations to recognise the value of good customer service and the impact poor service can have on revenue and profit. Identifying the need for improved customer service is the first step to providing service excellence, the second is taking action to implement the change.

Looking at the way our customers deliver award winning customer service, we have compiled the below list of ways organisations can improve their current levels of customer service and satisfaction.

1. Listen to customers, it sounds like an obvious point but can often be overlooked. Reviewing current levels of service with customers and discussing changes and improvements will demonstrate a commitment to service excellence. In addition, it will help identify what areas need to be addressed and provides a useful benchmark to measure success against.

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For better or for worse – why good customer service needs equal recognition

Posted by Steve Alderson on April 3, 2012

In recent blog posts we have focused on the financial value of best practice customer service to the boardroom, and how to analyse it from a managerial perspective.

We all know when bad service hits these days it’s reported on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook but what about exceptional instances of good service? How are they amplified?

Driving good service is as much about motivation and reward as it is about monitoring instances of poor customer management. After all, why should the workforce be minded to go the extra mile if it goes unrecognised? It is as much about middle management and creating a ‘service environment’ as it is making it a priority at board level. Customer service should work from the top down, as well as the bottom up, with middle management in both directions.

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How to provide great service – responding to customer reviews in real-time

Posted by Steve Alderson on March 12, 2012

Do you know the value of a good customer review, or the impact of an unhappy customer? In an age of citizen broadcasting, where word-of-mouth reviews are amplified and socialised, it’s more important than ever for service-led organisations to listen to their customers and act swiftly to encourage the advocates whilst addressing the concerns of the disgruntled.

One way field service organisations can monitor the actual, not perceived, levels of customer satisfaction and respond accordingly, is via the Net Promoter Score (NPS), a concept first introduced by Fred Reichheld in his 2003 Harvard Business Review article "One Number You Need to Grow".

NPS is based on the fundamental perspective that every company's customers can be divided into three categories: promoters, passives, and detractors. By asking one simple question — how likely is it that you would recommend ‘Company X’ to a friend or colleague? — you can track these groups and get a clear measure of your company's performance through its customers' eyes.

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What is GPS jamming, and how to spot it in your workforce

Posted by Steve Alderson on February 24, 2012

A secret network of twenty roadside listening stations across the UK has confirmed that criminals are attempting to jam GPS signals on a regular basis, findings from a conference at the National Physical Laboratory revealed yesterday.

Set up by the government's Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Sentinel project is identifying several instances of jamming each day on busy roads, in fact somewhere between 50 and 450 occurrences across the UK. The research established that ‘jammers’ were responsible for interference experienced by Ordnance Survey equipment.

How does this relate to the UK workforce? Jamming seems to happen for two reasons – firstly, criminal activity; and secondly, the report revealed that domestic jammers are typically used by drivers or operatives with company cars or vans that do not want their employers to know their whereabouts.

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