Are you clear on your 'purpose'?
Monday 15th March 2021
Covid has, whether we acknowledge it or not, changed the way we deliver service in many industries we operate in. I believe that being clear on the 'purpose' of your service has never been more important. A lot of service industries have had to adapt and change along with customer needs and wants. All have needed to react to the 'stay at home' message from lockdown.
If you're purpose is clear, flexibly aligned to changing needs and constantly under review, then you'll have a great chance of keeping your customers and even building and expanding your service offering. As customers utilise your services in ways you had never even imagined before Covid you can keep in step. If we continue to react effectively to customers in the future, as we have currently, then this may actually turn out to be a great opportunity as we move to a more relaxed way of living and working.
Utilise any and all customer feedback and experiences to make sure that your purpose meets their needs. The 'Voice of the Customer' is one of the most powerful tools in the good old toolkit. Use it. Or lose it (and your customers!). It might seem a bit old fashioned, to have those conversations and workshops (regularly) in your organisation, to really ensure that you are delivering on what you set up to do. If you're all about answering calls from your customers, then make sure you are ready, trained, informed, coached, skilled and have the tools to do that. Give your staff the time, support and freedom to do their job. And this is the point, some call centres have lost sight of their purpose. It's changed from 'Helping our customers with all their questions' (we will talk about failure demand in a later blog) to 'Get them off the phone as quickly as possible and take the next one'. While that can be driven by bad planning and spikes in call volumes, the purpose for the customer remains the same - 'please help me'. Rushing customers and working to meet SLA's and obsessing about call handling measures just simply means, you no longer are delivering on your purpose. You've lost sight of why you set up and what you want and need to do for your customers.
If you are struggling with your purpose, it's time to start considering 'Thinking - System - Performance', and how we need to change our thinking to change the way we view our services, and ultimately their purpose. Your performance is driven by the 'system' you have set up to deliver it. Your System is determined by the 'thinking' in setting it up. If you haven't taken the time to go back and review your rationale and thought processes, how can you know if your system is delivering what's required. It may have changed or evolved over time! Get some verbatim feedback from your staff and your customers to understand if your 'system' and 'thinking' are still relevant and therefore if you are delivering your 'purpose' with amazing performance.
Another topic for another blog - Thinking - System - Performance.