'Dogs are better than humans at big data' according to Carsten Sorensen at our quarterly CCA Special Advisers’ meeting in London this week. His rationale is that dogs know instinctively when their owners are around; often from afar, and don't ever get thrown off scent by unusual occurrences or changes in patterns of behaviour. They are able to assimilate a variety of data points and select what is necessary to make the judgement.

The topic of discussion (bear with me!) was in fact how standards can help improve customer service; highly relevant in a week where there have been several press reports about customer service levels dipping, together with examples of über powerful individual Taylor Swift forcing consumer giant Apple to radically alter course. 

How are these related? Put simply, it's much easier for an organisation like Apple; which was built around the objective of establishing long term relationships with customers; to examine their singular point of reference; ie customer first and make a smooth u-turn, than that of an organisation with a legacy built layer upon layer, acquisition upon merger and ego driven departments with competing objectives. Examined individually each department’s objective can have merit, but collectively can be destructive for customers, particularly when things, as they so often do, go wrong and the fix requires willing collaboration.

Squaring marketing enthusiasm with IT brainpower; the newly formed social media and web-chat teams alongside the traditional voice call centre; then throw in a few finance zealots and you need a strong force to join the dots and even adjudicate on consumers’ behalf.

An indisputable fact is that organisations who take standards seriously perform better than those who don't. But standards force changes in behaviour, and so we need to be sure we select the right standards when we adopt them. 

At CCA Industry Council yesterday we worked on 'near future' scenarios where organisations will increasingly use data to be more helpful to customers; in a visual digital world where the value of our data will be better understood. Successful organisations will anticipate our behaviour, in order to sense, learn and respond; hopefully taking the pain out of everyday interactions.

Version 6 of CCA Global Standard is a handy toolkit for those organisations aiming to break down silos and nudging them to walk in the customer’s shoes. Designed as a non prescriptive set of common sense principles, agreed in collaboration with 200 organisations; it can effectively identify gaps and importantly pinpoint strengths that exist in the operation.

Committing to the Global Standard or 'making excellence a habit'; is a process rather than a programme, embedding a continuous improvement culture in a fast changing world.  So perhaps we can't have the intuitive ability of our canine friends, but we can nevertheless arm ourselves with the latest proven techniques to sniff out success.  Global Standard Version 6 FAQ