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The whole is nothing without all of its parts

Posted by Emily Mason on May 13, 2014

It’s a favourite story. Despite all of your efforts, and your ongoing commitment to continuous improvement, your service delivery results never quite reach expectations. Whether that is the shareholders, the C-suite or your customers, total success is never quite achieved – there is always more to be done.

You can take some comfort at least from the fact that it is not just your organisation that suffers in this way, it is a commonly shared experience. Although it won’t satisfy your boss, it might help you sleep a little better!

The UK’s Institute of Customer Service runs a twice yearly survey of customer satisfaction and, for the first time since 2009, recorded an overall drop in 2013. Now this survey covers retail sales as well as after-sales service and so we should not take this one statistic as an indictment of our whole service industry. And, the Institute does offer a hopeful insight in the Executive Summary of its January 2014 report:

“Consumers want a balance of cost and service. When faced with the choice, 60% of customers favour a balance of price and service and will not accept low service levels in exchange for a cheap deal. A substantial minority of consumers – 25% – seek excellent service and are prepared to pay for it, while 15% are highly motivated to find the cheapest deals.”

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So what if my performance score is 72?

Posted by Emily Mason on May 6, 2014

Which of the following statements is true?

“Good news - your Performance Score is 72” or “bad news - your Performance Score is 72”.

Either, neither, or both might be true, in different circumstances. Hearing the score on its own does not give you enough information to form an opinion. Knowing how it is different from yesterday or last week might help make sense of it. Alternatively how it compares to other members of your team, or other teams might give you a clue.

Even with that additional information, you might still have very different reactions. Some people will say “so what?” to the news that their score is better, or worse, this week than last. Whereas others will want to know “why did this happen?”

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“I can see clearly now the rain has gone…”

Posted by Emily Mason on April 29, 2014

It’s the start of another week, the weather’s miserable, and everyone’s got the Monday blues. I’m in the never-ending queue for a pick-me-up coffee at my local café, Johnny Nash singing away in the background, when a nearby conversation grabs my attention…

“Right, as you know Jack, we’ve been trialling a new mobile workforce management system.”


“I’ve noticed that your team are not performing as well as they could be.”

Response from Grumbly McGrumble: “yeah?”

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Dawn of the Service Realisation

Posted by Emily Mason on April 24, 2014

“Best-in-class organisations are 83% more likely than all others to align service agent compensation and incentives with service operation metrics” - just one of the findings to come from the latest report by the Aberdeen group ‘State of Service Management Roadmap for a Profitable 2014’.

The report, published in March, highlights the key trends in regard to service excellence, and looks at how top performing organisations deliver better profitability.

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How did your Easter measure up?

Posted by Emily Mason on April 23, 2014

It was a typical English Easter weekend, typically changeable weather and children typically bored at the end of two weeks school holiday. So, what to do? Well, we were running out of ideas, which might explain how we ended up in a long line of equally dispirited families, waiting to pay for things we did not really want at the local garden centre. I know, I know, but we were desperate people!

I was trying to ignore the gently increasing hubbub around me, from children who wanted to be anywhere else but here, my thoughts turned to the owners of the business. “They must be laughing all the way to the bank” I mused, looking around at the queues of people. Not a very original thought, but it was the end of a four day weekend and my mind was definitely in neutral. But, were they?

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