Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Reverse advice for improving customer service

John Kamensky, Govt Executive Magazine, Apr 15, 2016, talks about a Harvard Business Review study on customer service.

The researchers Jochen Wirtz and Ron Kaufman, who have worked with global clients for 25 years, say don't start with the customer-facing employees. They already know why customers are angry. The real problem, they say, is probably with the back office--IT or some other function. Retraining the frontline staff will not help.

Don't focus on specific skills or scripts. Instead ask the frontline people to create value for others, outside and within the organization.

Don't do pilot changes. If things need fixing, create momentum fast and set your sights high. Attack all the weak points at once.

Don't track traditional metrics. The cite one company that shifted from quantitative metrics to open-ended evaluation of what customers want.  The frontline people went from trying to get good satisfaction scores to making customers happy.

The other day, I was making yet ANOTHER call to my phone/cable/TV company. The reductions in the bill promised, with a confirmation number, were not made. It's always something with them. They say anything--willynilly--and do none of it. The bill is different every month.

Exasperated, I finally said, "Everything is going to Apple Boxes, Roku and streaming. Companies like this will be out of business!"

She said, "Oh, don't say that, I am a single Mom with two little kids."

Sheesh. I felt like a grease spot on the sidewalk of life.

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