A board member I once knew considered customer service as the waste bin of the organization. I never understood whether he referred to the output of the processes, the customers themselves or the people working within customer service.
But anyway, the role of customer service can be anything from mere phone picking, a complaint department, a clean up crew or a value booster and a competitive differentiator.
Deciding upon using customer service strategically one has to choose goals and targets.
These might include loyalty indicators, value drivers, word of mouth data, the effective voice of the customer, employee satisfaction and reduced risk and associated costs.
For me – with a background of COPC and Six Sigma – I prefer to develop a mix that includes process measures, experience or outcome measures and financial measures.
Outcome measures are loyalty (the net promoter score), word of mouth, the voice of the customer and employee satisfaction.
Financial goals are in my work environment the number of contacts and the cost of each contact.
Often, I see that people (and even consultants) are not capable to operationalize goals. Reports often include no referrals to these process, outcome goals or financial goals.
Operations or projects only use one set a measures which disables to implement a holistic view of the customer service management.
Using a mix of ingredients and knowing how these ingredients cooperate can be an advantage for both the organization, the operations, the professional or you as a person.
Considering the mix of the ingredients as a construct it is imperative for any organization, professional or person that people working in that construct are connected. Implying in my case that all staff members need to be acquainted with the strategic goals, being informed and getting more and more involved!
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