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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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:
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:
- Analysing the Service Package - to view the service through the customers eyes.
- Performance Factors - to see how our performance meets the requirements of the customer
- Journey of the Customer - to establish where in the journey of the customer through our service there are weaknesses which can be resolved. We have also included a simple Journey Healthcheck which is used by a team to get their initial impressions.
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 AnalysisAn 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:
- Customer Survey Techniques - providing an outline and the pros and cons of the three main techniques - interview, focus groups, and surveys.
- Types of Interviews - providing an outline and the pros and cons of the main types of interviews
- Customer Survey Tools - providing an outline and the pros and cons of the main approaches to customer survey.