Project Management

Win on Service in a Tough Economy

The current economic climate demands that organizations not only think about how to perform well for their customers,  but also how to perform better than any other competitor. To that end, Frances Frei and Anne Morriss write this article providing five tips for how to achieve success through intelligent and out-of-the-box service.   The solution to survival isn’t just going above and beyond; in fact, the solution can be the exact opposite. As Frei and Morriss point out, Wal-Mart gives bottom basement prices, but skimps on visual appeal in their stores.   Another example comes from in the form of “simplifying the front office”: The more complex the service task, the harder it is to focus on customer needs. Let’s go back to that call center. A typical call center employee (who doesn’t work at Zappos) is asked to manage up to eight different screens at once, while being timed on how quickly he or she can hang up the phone. This makes it difficult to respond to the demands and anxieties of the human being on the other end of the line. Simplify your employees’ jobs, and your service levels will improve. Figure out how to go from eight screens to four screens, and put away the timer. What does this mean in IT Service Management? Simply put, you have to make sure your support team is able to do their jobs without distraction or un-needed pressure. This can be done a number of ways, including repeatable processes, clear role definitions, or by simply allowing your team members to express when they are overloaded.

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