One of the most common questions I am asked when I meet a client for the first time is how do you measure service improvements? My answer is simple: you don’t; you maintain it.
Service in business requires more maintenance than measurement. By this, I mean
- Breathe with it. (If you think about it, our breath is always with us.)
- Let the service evolve. (Society, customers and technology will dictate this.)
- Grow. (We can always grow and be better so the risk of service being neglected in your business never arises.)
This alternative approach is like a system update on your phone. Updates happen frequently as a way of keeping your phone up-to-date and operating smoothly. The purpose for the updates may include security, innovation, ways to make your phone smarter or faster, or an overall improved user experience.
In service, there is no scoreboard with one or two metrics that determine who has won or lost the game. There is no beginning or end. It is ongoing as long as you keep your doors open for trade. You don’t need a measurement framework for service, you need a maintenance framework. This means having checks and balances in place that are visible, felt, heard and factual. Constant infusions of energy and focus on service will give you a well-rounded perspective of how well service is being lived and breathed in your organisation.
Here is a list of some of my favourite inclusions in a maintenance framework. When reviewed together, they give you a truthful narrative of what is going on with your organisation’s service culture:
- Stories from customers on the walls
- Reward and recognition of staff doing GREAT things for customers
- Staff reflection sessions (How are they feeling at work currently?)
- Qualitative customer surveys (Get the voice of the customer on how they feel about your service?)
- Have complaints AND compliments monitored and shared
- Inviting staff to contribute and share their opinions on problems and agendas (Let their voice be heard.)
- Sales alongside Customer Satisfaction scores
- Staff retention
Customer service is an inside out job. You need to understand what is happening inside your business as much as you do outside it.
‘Love Being in Service’