Saturday, 26 April 2014


If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK

Last week was one when I picked up on a new litmus test for how well customer services was working. I have heard it said that, "tidy desks generally equate to tidy minds", (although that might have just been some neatniks hanging around me). Well I have got to say, in the realm of the customer service centre, I am sold on tidy = good system integration.

So let me explain. This week I saw some CSC staff with post-its on their desks, cabinets, post-its hanging from screens, with messages, stuff to remember, to check, changes to apply, three deep in one case. Files for looking up stuff, sheets with lists etc. A bit like that red wine stain from June's retirement do, after a few days, it's just part of the patina and you just get used to it.

However from an outsider like me, it's a red rag to a bull. It's also a major obstacle to customer service. The Post-its are just one removed from having to commit those things to memory, instead staff need to commit to memory that they need to scan the right Post-its.

Have a walk down to look at your customer service team, lean on the window cill at the back and take a long good look mid-morning, while enjoying a brew.  If your staff have built an interzone of notes, files or other references, and are spending time checking them on each call, it should be ringing bells with you. Equally, I have seen a slightly more savvy version of the post-its held electronically on a HTML page. Now that's only 15% better in my book. At least you can hit Ctrl-F on that one.

I would guess that your staff may spend about 1/6th of their time checking those Post-It's (and fixing things they missed, dealing with queries generated downstream in Repairs/Rents too). For an average medium CSC of 12+ staff, introduction of an intelligent scripting application, such as Omfax would pay for itself in about a year. One member of staff freed up to create/manage scripts and one to add value elsewhere.

Now, is it worth you checking if your organisation CSC has an interzone now?

You can join me to pick up more Customer Journey Insights, next Tuesday 29th April at InMotion2014 at my Round Table at 11.30am - Best of Breed OR Single Supplier Systems. What’s Best For The Customer Journey? More info at . I will have Owen Barrett from Newport City Homes, who has build his systems around Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Mark Howells from Sanctuary Housing Group, challenging the HMS status Quo by moving to SAP. Its going to be an interesting session. If you are at the event, please stop me, say hello and tell me what you make of the blog!

You can link with me on LinkedIn here - It would be great to connect !

Joy Division - Interzone.

(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854655009

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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