How decreasing operational cost still dominates the quality of customer experience – and what it means for the organizational performance.

The larger an organisation gets, the more will internal issues dominate the external focus on customers and stakeholders. Or in other words: large organisations tend to lose the focus on performing well in the eyes of the customer when they concentrate too much on their internal issues. One of our vital tasks as business leaders and top managers must be to set our companies’ minds us much as possible on “customer focus mode”. For some, this is still a long way off. Let me give you an example.

Just recently I was in touch with a provider of telephone broadband and TV services. I had ordered a package and made clear from the start that an early installation date would be crucial. When talking to the sales representative, I learned that all providers use the same installation company and service, which came in a surprise. Nobody could tell me when exactly installation date would be and they could rely on me not having any other choice because they all use the same service.

Then I received a text message telling me that at some point and installation will take place with no address or contact details to turn to. A couple of days later I decided to investigate and was held for the usual long waiting time their queue. When I finally got somebody on the line, I was told again that at some point the installation will happen without telling me any date or time. Roughly a week later, I received a simple text message telling me when the installation will happen without even bothering to ask me whether I could make it. Knowing that I could not get hold of anybody, I simply went for it.

In the first place, I had asked the sales were up to get a full installation including all broadband settings. When the installation engineer came, however, he informed me that he would only be responsible for connecting me to the network and not for any broadband settings. My requirements were not met, and I had to call the provider began to cancel the service that I have paid for but which was not delivered with the need to explain why I don’t have to pay for the extra service.

What does this little story tell us? Well, still there quite some issues when several departments all working on the customer need to work together to deliver a full customer experience. The sales representative does not know the installation schedules and cannot take any influence in favour of the customer. The installation engineer is working for a monopolist, does not precisely customer oriented when it comes to a puts custom installation.

Telecommunication providers are usually concerned about their churn rate, and about customer loyalty. Still, it seems that decreasing costs of customer operations is the priority, with the quality of service as and overall customer experience much further down the line. It is surprising, that in this highly competitive field of business none of the providers have come up so far with a top customer experience as their unique selling proposition.

I am sure, there are many people out there who have had similar experiences. At least many of my friends, colleagues and customers have had. So: how did the organisation perform in this case? Who is responsible for that? And above all: why did this happen? Such tough challenges require leaders, managers and executives with crystal clear goals, Key Performance Indicators and an outline how they want to achieve these goals. But most important of all they need the ability to align their direct reports and staff with these strategies, to deduct actions to be taken and finally: they need to act indeed. Making things happen is still the toughest challenge of all.

Jens Moeller Consulting Ltd.
Phone: +44 (0)20 799 32 415
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Jens Moeller