Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Service standards exist to enhance your capacity to meet and exceed customer expectations

Service standards are the in-house systems and processes, policies and procedures that your organisation has created to give it every possible chance of meeting and exceeding the expectations of its customers. They create the possibility of consistency while allowing the people in your organisation to make decisions that lead to improved service outcomes. It is not always necessary to create new service standards; many of them already exist in operating manuals, rules, procedures and policies.

The challenge is to determine whether they support or hinder great service. The ‘bureaucracy busting’ of the GE Workout program (Ashkenas, Ulrich, Jick, & Kerr, 1995) is an example of a process that at its very heart was about ensuring the company’s systems and processes remained aligned to serving people and achieving the organisation’s goals.

Quote from a research participant
We think that it is great when a new person starts work here. We encourage them to ask questions. So they do. “Why does this policy and that policy exist?” That’s what they ask. And if we haven’t got a genuine answer, then we seriously look at the policy or procedure and change it if it is no longer helping us to serve our customers.

How do your systems, policies and procedures enhance your capacity to meet and exceed the expectations of your customers?

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