Asking these self-evaluation questions can help businesses understand what their values are and how organizational leadership affects the company's overall customer service strategy.
- Our values are widely understood and practiced.
- Leadership reflects the organization's values.
- Our processes of management enact our values.
- Senior managers actively champion customers.
- We invest in developing leadership across the organization.
A good way of assessing the degree of fit between stated values and actual values is to be a fly on the wall and watch what happens in an organization. For example, customer focus may be a stated value, but it may be possible to see managers walking past ringing phones and not answering them, or even standing by while a queue of customers wait for service. Another example may be that a company has a stated value around the treatment of employees, yet it may be possible to observe that in a call center there is nowhere for staff to retreat or relax away from customers.
To ensure values really are "lived," they need to be turned into measurable practices. For example, if a value is to "identify, anticipate, serve and satisfy customer needs," then one way of measuring this would be to ask when was the last time a particular staff member sat down with a customer to find out their needs. Measuring practices helps focus staff attention on what is important; it guides their behavior and the future direction of the business.
Download the rest of this chapter on organizational leadership.
Customer service excellence: Six tips in six minutes
Tip 1: Using customer intelligence in a service strategy
Tip 2: Improving customer service with effective business processes
Tip 3: Employee satisfaction and customer service excellence
Tip 4: Building a service strategy with organizational leadership
Tip 5: Change management in a customer service strategy
Tip 6: Customer service excellence best practices
|These chapter excerpts from Business Success Through Service Excellence, by Moira Clark and Susan Baker, are used by permission from Elsevier Publishing. Published by Butterworth-Heinemann, a division of Elsevier, 2004.|