Service management challenges
By Paul Linnell
Today, more than ever, businesses and public sector organisations are
under pressure to reduce costs and downsize resources to remain
profitable or operate within their budgets. Meanwhile, customers are
becoming more sophisticated with increasing expectations, and markets
offer customers increased competition and easier ways to switch
In this environment, the service functions of many organisations find
themselves overstretched and undervalued and often become the first target
in cost-reduction programmes.
Through our benchmarking and consulting work we commonly observe
service management challenges that contribute
- Firstly, many organisations have difficulty expressing the
benefits of customer service
in financial terms and assessing the true
cost of poor service. This presents
obstacles when trying to cost-justify investments in service
improvement initiatives and when trying to explain in business terms
why customer satisfaction is important
- Secondly, organisational hierarchies and departmental structures
still create barriers and bottlenecks to customer processes in many
organisations. There is often an absence of formalised
customer retention strategies, or
customer-driven value creation. This leads
to an imbalanced investment bias towards activities that focus on,
customer acquisition strategies
instead of more cost-effective strategies for customer-retention.
- Thirdly, we often see a lack of actionable
customer research, and poor use of
customer feedback as a systematic source
of insight for business improvement and service management. In many
cases this contributes to the stress of service management,
introduces inconsistencies in service and leads to larger
organisations either "flying blind" or developing an overreliance on
less robust performance measures.
These factors form key challenges for service management and barriers
for success for any organisation in today’s difficult economic climate.
Now, more than ever, private and public sector organisations must
empower service management to build a
customer-driven enterprise that can remove
these barriers, seek out and fix the problems that customers experience
and outperform their competition.
Strategies for building a customer-driven enterprise:
With effective planning, guidance and executive commitment, an
organisation can make the transition from being at the mercy of these
challenges to actively
managing customer experience and
creating value for its customers.
To support such transformations CTMA has developed a portfolio of
customer experience measurement tools, methodologies and feedback
systems. Underpinning these services is a comprehensive
framework for customer-driven value creation
that provides organisations with a consistent and measurable business
Many organisations regard customer feedback and complaints as an
“inconvenience” and satisfaction research as no more than a form of
“marketing intelligence”. In doing so they fail to capitalise on the
opportunity of using customer feedback as a management tool to improve
their products, their services and their business.
CTMA has identified six important steps an organisation must take in
order to fully exploit these opportunities,
turn customer feedback into management actions,
build an effective force against service management challenges and a
defence against customer dissatisfaction.
If there’s a specific customer challenge we
can help you with and you’d like to meet for a discussion, in person, or
by phone, or via Skype, please let us know. We would be delighted to
learn more and explore ways we can help.
contact us to schedule some time for an