The service industry has become a large, complex, and convoluted mix of services that don’t work well together. What companies do, instead, is compensate for the parts not working together through the creation of customer service centers, sometimes referred to as a “Failure Industry.” To make things worse, the metrics of these help desks and service operations often focus on efficiency measures, not on actually solving the customer’s problem.
For example, rather than taking the time to help a customer, customer service centers often focus on “handle time” or other efficiency metrics. This runs counter to what the customer wants and needs: the customer wants their problem resolved in a humane manner. Instead, the customer sometimes experience abrupt and service that doesn’t meet their needs.
Lean Consumption requires that fix the customer’s problem well and completely. This means that we must move from a mindset of just efficiency to one of customer experience. This will mean that front-line staff must be more skilled and be able to arrive at the root cause of the customer’s problem – AND – be able to immediately put in place countermeasures so that no other customers will experience the same service defect.
This also means that the front-line staff are able to navigate upstream in the value chain, in search for the root cause.
It’s Your Turn
Have you had a customer service experience where the customer service agent listened to you and actually tried their best to help you with your concern? Did the customer service agent attempt to identify the root cause upstream in the value chain and tried to put in place countermeasures so that the customer defect doesn’t happen again?
- the principles of Lean for Service Operations are: Solve the customer’s problem completely by insuring that all the goods and services work, and work together, Don’t waste the customer’s time, Provide exactly what the customer wants, Provide what’s wanted exactly where it’s wanted, Provide what’s wanted where it’s wanted exactly when it’s wanted, Continually aggregate solutions to reduce the customer’s time and hassle. ↩
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