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What is “Continual Service Improvement” Department?

by Mohammed on November 5, 2010

Before few days, I tweeted the following:

The tweet got a massive number of retweets. That’s made me think to blog clarifying my vision with the new department and hope that one tweet could be the change for some companies’ customer experience. Let’s start with the basic (I love that).

A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.

A simple example of a customer outcome that could be facilitated by a New Media department might be: “sales people spending more time interacting with customers” facilitated by “a listening station via online social networks available 24 hours.”

The outcomes that customers want to achieve are the reason why they purchase or use your service. The outcomes of your service or product create the “promise” that makes your customers trust your brand and spread the Word Of Mouth faster than any marketing campaign. Remember, customers expectations determine your outcomes

Customer service according to Wikipedia is “a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.

Customer satisfaction is ultimate responsibility of each employee in the company and some companies like Zappos and HCL put their employees first to achieve that goal.

HCL CEO Vineet Nayar, author of “Employees First, Customers Second” said: “If you do not have motivated employees, no amount of investment in other resources can overcome this gap.”

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, author of “Delivering Happiness” said:

At Zappos, our belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff – like great customer service, or building a great long-term brand, or passionate employees and customers – will happen naturally on its own.”

Tom Peters who need no title to introduce him explained in the following video how important to treat your employees like customers.

All companies want to increase the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), the amount of revenue a customer will bring to your company over the course of their lifetime with your brand but how can you achieve that? Well, that’s where the “Continual Service Improvement” department comes in place. “Continual Service Improvement” department will work to keep your customers satisfied while keeping them interested in the brand.

1 – Study customer expectations from the brand’s promise. For example, they contact you not because they want to know “what’s up” but because they saw another friend who lives a great customer service experience. They want the same, they want to feel important, they don’t want to switch the service but rather to have a new experience and you can’t achieve that just by offering the same level of treatments and solutions. A lifetime customer is a lifetime excellence service.

2 – Don’t just be automatic problem solver; most companies have FAQ that easy to access by anyone. Customers want to feel the humanity of the brand. That’s why they like you on Facebook, share testimonial video on youtube, etc. You didn’t request that but your promise of delivering WoW service made satisfied and let them do that. You can double that promise by continuously listen, engage and appreciate your customers.

3 – The new way to run excellent customer service provider is to make the first line the most experience, educated and patient. I hate when I talk to a customer service who says: “We are sorry; we are unable to help you.” Who want to stay with that brand? The first line should be the most creative and helpful line. Did you hear about online retail shoes help you buy Pizza?

4 – Expand your medium listening station to include most if not all new media tools. Use your customer’s favorite communication tool. Give them what they need without wasting their time. Customer time is more valuable than anything else. Don’t use any medium tool that you think you are not capable of satisfying your customers. Also, follow back to check the status, I never get a follow-up back call or email  for a problem I issued, how sad?

Today, customers are adapting a real-time mindset where me or you want quick answers, interesting promotion and feeling how important we are to the brand and continuously along CLV. Nothing can keep us loyal to the brand without Continual Service Improvement, that needs to be a unit in the organization structure.

It was just 140 characters but it’s a discussion now. Do you have similar department? How do you handle customers expectations while providing WoW service? How do you handle a customer who wants to switch to a competitive brand? What are you preparing for real-time mindset customers?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mona Hulusi November 6, 2010 at 12:42 PM

As always Great post :) and in my opinion we need that 100% as we faced alot of problems in our dealing!!
but Mr. Mohammed what the differences between (Continual Service Improvement) department – (Marketing department ) -( customer service department) or if they think of (social media Department ) as it was your amazing idea to have such of this Department ??are they the same?

Can any company hold all of these departments in the same time?? and if if they have the same tasks why they make it as many departments ?

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2 Mohammed November 6, 2010 at 6:41 PM

As always Great post :) what the differences between (Continual Service Improvement) department – (Marketing department ) -( customer service department) or if they think of (social media Department ) as it was your amazing idea to have such of this Department ??are they the same?Can any company hold all of these departmentsin the same time?? and ifif they have the same tasks why they make it as many departments ?  

They are different departments but good CS will market your product or service so CS can be = marketing. Even each department have different title but all departments are doing CS that serve the brand.

“Continual Service Improvement” can be a small unit if not a department.

BTW, you don’t need to have knowledge in everything. You need to narrow your niche and focus on things that can add value to your career.

Thanks for your comment.

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3 Andrew January 30, 2011 at 5:11 AM

Great post, I got useful info in your conversation about the differences between departments.

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4 Obi October 23, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Nice post, but how can you apply apply CSI in an organization that provides services to internal customers (units in the same organization). Thank you

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