Organisations in the private and public sector face a constant challenge: to meet - and exceed - the demands of their customers, whilst improving business efficiency and controlling cost.
What does this feel like for the customer? What happens when organisations get it right - or very, very wrong?
This blog shares some of my thinking, advice and experience in some of the best, and worst, in customer service delivery.
Earlier this year, we opened a survey on several LinkedIn
groups and customer service Twitter feeds about business priorities and
challenges for 2013-14. This article
publishes the results of that survey and raises some questions that managers
involved with customer service delivery may wish to consider in their own
We offer this discussion of the results as a prompt for you
to think about your own organisation’s position and the progress you’re making in
the areas of our survey.
These results come with a heavy caveat, as the number of
responses we received was small at 26.
Whilst this means these results cannot be relied upon for a statistical
extrapolation of “the state of the industry”, they did include responses from
large organisations in the public and private sector in New Zealand and the UK.
The results from our group of respondents indicated their
three top priorities as:
incident, gate staff refused to allow Petty Officer Nicky Howse - a serving
engineer in the British Royal Navy returning to duty from a family funeral - to
wear her uniform on a flight, despite this explicitly being allowed by Virgin’s
The story highlights the stark reality of how the actions of
individual employees at the front line can rapidly turn a company’s reputation
into a very public bad news story.
On February 27th 2013 in New Zealand, a man died in a shark attack on a beach near Auckland. This tragic story hit the press again just two days later as
low cost airline JetStar refused to allow the victim’s mother to change a
ticket and fly from Wellington to Auckland a week earlier to be with her
family, without paying a $350 change fee.