Friday, 7 February 2014

I Want To Take You Higher

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or LinkedIn here

Over the last couple of weeks I have been doing some work on the full 'customer repairs journey'. You know the stuff. Right from customer service team CRM call, to logged request, Opti-Time appointment, dispatch to operative and completion patched back. Anyone who has tried it will know that often CSC staff, repairs and trade operatives are hard to get together in a single room. Oil and water comes to mind, although over the last few months, with the folks I have been working with, there have been a lot of light-bulb moments. When people stop being defensive and work together, it's surprising what can be achieved.

This would not be possible without all managers controlling all parts of the journey, being present. If it's your mission statement, to take customer service higher, then its not good enough just to paint the slogan on your office walls and the back of toilet doors. It does need to be communicated and a part of every member of staffs mindset. Now that is a difficult job.

Many organisations fetishise John Lewis. We have all probably bought stuff at the JL partnership, or at least two of the eight types of banana they stock in Waitrose. What we actually get in John Lewis is consistency of customer service, that's why we like it and keep going back although that place is certainly not the cheapest. That consistency, trained knowledge from the JL employee is what is the real trick. Even students doing 3 months in Waitrose part time undertake 3 weeks of training, to recognise those eight types of banana. That's what shopping in Asda a transaction and in John Lewis an experience.

Invest in training and achieving consistency across the whole customer journey and you turn your transaction (renting from the 'council', as many of your residents will incorrectly still think of you as), into an experience. For my money, 25% of that is technology, intelligent scripting in CRM, dynamic appointments, good mobile systems to get the right trade person to the job on time, and capture right first visit satisfaction. The remaining 75% is people, process and management. Supporting, training and empowering staff to achieve those lofty aims on the back of your toilet door.

Have you invested the full quota in IT/Systems and your people to take your customer service higher? Which one will you need to improve to reduce your complaints and follow-on jobs? If you do that, we use our budgets better and create better neighbourhoods for us all.

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Sly & Family Stone - I Want To Take You Higher .

(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

PS As usual, if there are subjects you might like me to tackle on this blog, please get in touch and let me know!

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