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Improving customer service with effective business processes: Tip #2

In this tip, learn how a company's business process management can affect overall customer service strategy and customer experience, and how customer service can be improved with better business processes.

This chapter focuses on operational effectiveness and breaks it down into its constituent elements. These five...

self-evaluation questions can help a business assess customer service excellence potential:

  • Customers consider us easy to do business with.
  • We enhance business performance through continuous improvement.
  • We can deal equally effectively with customers over multiple channels.
  • We deal with service failures effectively.
  • We use the web to enhance the customer's experience.

    Tip #2, Improving customer service with effective business processes, is excerpted from Chapter 3 of the book Business Success Through Service Excellence, by Moira Clark and Susan Baker, published by Butterworth-Heinemann, a division of Elsevier, 2004.
    Best practice organizations are responsive to customers and their business processes and procedures give the impression of an almost intuitive organization. This is where managers and frontline staff appear to perceive the truth of things without reasoning or analysis. They are able to put themselves in the customer's shoes and see the benefit of taking a particular course of action without needing any rational validation. When this approach is embedded in processes that empower staff to deal with customers in an individual way, then levels of customer satisfaction rise. Tesco, for example, empowers staff to respond to legitimate customer complaints by giving them the authority to replace products or issue reimbursements without having to refer to supervisors. In doing so, the company demonstrates a respect for their employees' ability to assess situations and manage customer relations. Customers, in turn, are made to feel valued and respected.

    Where organizations are able to build a business model around the insights they have into what it takes to be easy to do business with, they are then in a position to change the rules of the marketplace. Understanding these key criteria enables them to redefine the customer needs the industry is focusing on. Virgin Group is one such organization that has demonstrated time and again how to bring radically new products and services into the marketplace without necessarily being the first to market in a particular sector. Professors Kim and Mauborgne, from the French business school Insead, use the term "value innovators" to describe organizations that adopt these sorts of approaches to business. In effect, the competition is left standing as old sources of advantage are destroyed and new ones created.

    Download the rest of this chapter on customer service and business processes.


    Customer service excellence: Six tips in six minutes

     Home: Introduction
     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

    Business Success Through Service Excellence 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.

    Purchase the book here

  • This was last published in August 2007

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