The Customer Service Equation.


This is the Customer Service Equation:

New systems that don’t work
+ Unresolved customer complaints
+ Fines from the Industry Regulator
+ Competition
+ Ease of switching
+ The unhappy and disgruntled customers
= 20%+ of the workforce losing their jobs.

I see this equation playing out often.

For one business, the combination of new financial systems, devised without consideration of customer needs or an understanding of their impact on the customer experience (resulting in moments of misery and no moments of magic) launched with inadequately trained (if trained at all) front-line service providers who were unable to deal with complaints from customers irate and emotional after receiving consistently incorrect bills, created the perfect storm.

The customers, thanks to competition, were able to switch providers.

Employees and contractors, however, didn’t have that choice – 20% of them lost their jobs as a result

So, could this have been avoided?

Absolutely. Any systems or process change that isn’t able to answer the question “How will the customer benefit from this – directly, or indirectly?”, is destined to fail. Tweet This.

This question can be answered by:

  • Gathering stakeholders and representatives from every function of the business, along with some customers
  • Spending time mapping the customer experience from when the customer has a need/places an order right through to when a service has been paid for.

This will ensure an understanding of the consequence of errors at any stage of the process.

Having done that and minimised the risks of errors and inconsistencies, there may still be customer resistance.

This is because the introduction of any system or process change, however positive, is likely to have initial teething problems or result in customer questions and concerns regarding the change.

Fully skilled and trained front line customer service providers at this stage are critical to smooth adoption of the change. Tweet This.

They need to be not just empowered, but actively encouraged to provide feedback to the internal stakeholders about anything that may need to be changed or tweaked based on real customer experiences. The cost of ensuring these people have the skills, confidence and ability to enable them to do that, are minimal compared to the cost of leaving this to chance – or worse still, arrogance in the belief that “nothing will go wrong”.

The case sited above is real; the cost to individual people who relied on this employer to pay their mortgages and support their families, not to mention the reputation of the company has been huge. By comparison the cost of preventing it would have been miniscule.

Do you want to prevent your business from this trauma and ensuing fall out? Why not give us a call and find out how we can help you to ask all the right questions and give your people all the right skills.