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Steve Alderson

SVP Service Operations

Recent Posts

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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Driving Continuous Improvement: The Pursuit of Best-In-Class Service

Posted by Steve Alderson on February 22, 2012

I’m very conscious of two things in business today.

The first is how tough the modern service environment is. We’re probably all familiar with demanding customers who want ever better service at lower cost and in many companies this service needs to be delivered whilst responding to internal pressures for higher profits.

The second is just how much technology there is out there promising to improve the operations of service organisations.

But in all too many cases, businesses have found that though their service technology investments have delivered a positive return, they have fallen far short of expectations.

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How Can We Excuse Rudeness in Customer Service?

Posted by Steve Alderson on February 17, 2012

Our recently commissioned YouGov survey revealed that almost half (49%) of those polled [over 1,400] cited unfriendly and impolite staff as the most common reason for poor customer service.

To further explore this theme, Service Management’s Saul Sherry asked the following question on LinkedIn: What is going wrong in service departments that customers are left so unsatisfied by the lack of manners and empathy from service departments?

It sparked an interesting debate. In question was the UK’s service culture, where examples of excellent service are generally the exception rather than the rule. Top of the complaints list seemed to be call centre culture in corporate environments, where not enough attention is placed on the individual and their value to the organisation.

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The emotive topic of meeting ever-increasing service expectations – it’s all about communication

Posted by Steve Alderson on January 17, 2012

At the end of last year we posed the question ‘How do you meet the ever-increasing expectations of service?’ on LinkedIn, and received a number of industry views. Clearly it’s a topic close to the hearts of many organisations.

Practical solutions were put forward, such as automated technologies to cut out process, and systems to evaluate an organisation’s current performance, to best map out areas for improvement. All arguments we would heartily endorse.

However, the key theme of the discussion focused on communicating regularly with customers, on whatever channel you might expect to find them, or they you. The number one priority seemed to be picking the most effective communication channels (be it mobile, web, call centre, social media) and being available where and when the customer expects it - a massive challenge. As one respondent commented, to meet ever-increasing expectations ”we make ourselves available to our clients and answer their questions promptly.”

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