by Ben Stephens, Service Strategies
I was reading Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book and ran across this Chinese proverb and set the book down and thought about how this relates to service delivery… It took awhile but I came up with this…
I thought back many years ago when I worked for a large high tech company as a supervisor in the service organization. We were churning away working our cases, meeting our goals and all seemed well (I am the worm), but apparently the executives thought differently and had lost confidence in the service leader and replaced him. A new Director was hired to bring a “new way of doing things around here”… The new Director came in and she hired a few managers and we changed how we did things. For the most part all for the good… however after a few years the new ways became the old ways and we were all worms in horseradish again.
I’m sure you may have had similar experiences in your career, an organization becomes set in their ways there is a shakeup in the leadership and things change and often times get better. This approach works, however it has some risks and it takes a toll on the staff and often times the customer. But it does work.
While replacing the service leader does result in change it is cannot be used every time the organization starts getting a bit stale. One alternative would be to engage experienced service consultants to review service operations, identify gaps and suggest new ways of meeting your service goals. Engaging service consultants to conduct a service assessment brings a fresh perspective and insights from others in the service industry. While it can be unsettling to have consultants asking questions and digging around in systems and metrics, a service assessment can reveal new ways to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty, identify new revenue opportunities and uncover new ways of delivering service for less.
It is natural for organizations to get “set in their ways” as they refine processes and consistently meet incrementally improving service goals. To get a step change in service delivery the best approach is to invite a service expert to assess your service operation and then help you drive the changes within the organization.