Improving Processes & Services

Customer Service

Analysing Customer Service

Improving processes and services works best when it is customer-driven.

Focussing on the issues faced by the customers can give three benefits:

  1. Visible relevance
    The improvement project becomes clearly relevant and useful - in terms of the success of the organisation. It is clear not only to the team but also to others in the organisation.
  2. Speed of implementation
    Because the benefits are visible, one can generate a sense of urgency regarding the implementation, which is often lacking in other projects.
  3. Clarity
    Using the views of the customer, through surveys or interviews, helps the team to become much clearer about what aspects of the service the customers really find uncomfortable.

This section covers the diagnostics that are typically used to analyse customer service and identify strengths and weaknesses. They fall under two headings internal analysis and external analysis.

Internal Analysis

This involves collecting the views and ideas of people within the organisation as to what they see as the main customer service issues. Typically there are two steps:

Step 1

Form a small group or project team to work on getting a feel for the key elements of your service, an initial feel for customer perceptions, and likely strengths & weaknesses. To do this the group would work through three diagnostics covering the Three Service Dimensions:

Step 2

Carry out an organisation survey of your staffs views on customers and the service they provide to them. In practice people in the organisation, particularly those dealing directly with customers, know of most of the weaknesses and problems and given the opportunity are only too delighted to see them resolved.

External Analysis

An internal analysis can generate much and is an excellent starting point. However, at some stage the conclusion really need to be checked out directly with the customers.

There are a variety of ways of doing this (focus groups, questionnaire surveys, suggestion schemes) each having their own strengths and weaknesses. We have included three tables which we have found useful in helping us to decide on the best approach. They are: