Do you as a business offer a modern lifestyle experience?
As consumers we are becoming ever more demanding. Our time is more and more precious. Gone are the days where we will take a day’s leave to wait in for an appointment and if we do so, the expectation is that we will know when to expect the appointment to start so that we can organise the day’s activity productively.
The rise of parcel delivery, taxi and fast food apps make customers increasingly question why traditional service providers cannot give a more accurate time of arrival. This is just one of the ways service organisations are struggling to keep up-to-date with a modern digitalised lifestyle.
In order to catch up businesses are focusing on expensive apps and digital technology to modernise their service delivery, but these are only as good as the complete service they provide.
Would you as consumer accept the service you provide?
I had a pivotal moment a few years ago when working for a leading manufacturer. Professionally, I was putting my energies into improving customer experience through digitalisation, however when I booked my own annual service, I realised we were not getting the basics right first.
On the day of the appointment I broke every rule we expect our customers to abide by. I booked an early call for a low priority job because it gave me the smallest time window to have to wait in. I forgot the engineer was coming so my young daughter answered the door. I had not informed the engineer that space was tight (meaning the appointment was longer). I left the engineer alone whilst I took my daughter to school.
As operational mangers we put pressure on our field and call centre teams to adhere to rules, designed to improve our operational costs. However as customers we don’t really care, we simply expect the amount of service we experience elsewhere.
Identifying true operational costs of an improved service
We tell ourselves, “but our service times are less predictive than a parcel delivery service” and, “it’s unfair that our field FTE productivity KPI is penalised”.
There are many reasons why as operations managers we impose rules on our customers, but put simply our customers simply do not know or care about our trials and tribluations. To succeed in the modern service world we must see our service through the eyes of our customers and remove non-value-added restrictions to our service process.
As a customer I understand an engineer needs a certain amount of time to travel to my door, walk up the path and attend the service on-site. This is no different to a parcel delivery driver; only that the time on site is a minute or two for a delivery driver and probably the same in travel. In fact, they often go beyond this by finding a neighbour if I am not in. My perception is that it’s harder for a delivery driver to keep on schedule as they have minimal opportunity to make up delayed time as the margins are so tight.
All too often organisations focus on mapping their operational processes without truly understanding their customer experience or the customer's perception of their service.
In order to truly understand the cost of your customer experience it is essential that you identify the core expectations of your customers. Every operational process improvement should be scored against that customer experience. A simple way to do this is to quantify any operational resistance based on a probability / impact score.
Your investment as an organisation should be linked to your customer experience score and only then can it be used to help steer value to your people, process and technology.
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Leadent is truly impartial. Our advice is guided by best practice and isn’t clouded by internal politics. All of our team have significant experience in field service operations and understand the challenges that business face first hand. We’re business consultants but we’re also experts in technology too! This means we only give recommendations that we know can work.