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Service improvement

The challenge

iss service-improvement

Service is a key success factor across almost all industries, whether you are trying to drive consistency across multiple channels, or improve customer satisfaction metrics such as Net Promoter Score.

To make matters more complicated, there is often a tension between being focused on the numbers or focused on the customer, and the pendulum swings from one to the other all the time. This makes it challenging for front line service professionals to get the balance right on every single interaction, every day.

We work with a wide range of clients to help them engage with their customers better, in a bid to improve loyalty, build brand advocacy or maintain their reputation. The ultimate objectives vary from strategic differentiation, to delivering a stronger foothold in a given market, to improving efficiency and profitability.

Typical solutions

The first step is being clear about what you are aiming for in terms of customer engagement, then communicating that consistently to front line professionals. This is often an area that gets lost in translation; what the business leader thinks and says gets diluted and generalised as it ripples through the organisation. Operational and middle managers use their own legacy experience of what they think is right, and before you know it, the pendulum is swinging and inconsistency creeps in.

Barclays Direct Channels: CSAT increased by 10 points to 92%
Cambridgeshire Constabulary: 179% increase in calls within service levels

That's why it is important to make sure that every senior and operational manager knows what good looks like, and how to translate that into meaningful words, actions and attitude on a daily basis. This takes time and – if rushed – often breeds another layer of inconsistency.

The second step is to design "what good looks like", making it 21st century and sustainable. This means reaching out for customer insight and thought leadership that may not yet exist within the company. Changing customer demands and the complexities of how we like to be served mean that defining good is a complex task. Being "nice" to the customer just doesn't cut it anymore.

Finally, executing the strategy with front line people takes a blended effort; cascading out by email or workshop is not the only answer these days. Imparta (through its service division Procter), offers a number of strategies to help you get a new or revised customer strategy to stick. These include mapping specific customer insights to interactions in sales, service, complaints and collections, and up-skilling line managers to "own" the changes and communicate them through group or individual coaching and tracking.

Example Case Studies

Next steps

  • Explore our Service training curriculum in more detail;
  • Use the Design Your Solution section part of this website to see how we could help embed the new skills and attitudes required. You can then download a customised PowerPoint presentation to use in internal discussions;
  • Contact us to ask specific questions, or to find out more about how we can help you to improve service delivery.
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