This week saw NASA astronaut Kate Rubins carry out a DNA sequencing test in space for the first time. Called Minion, the device, which was developed in the UK, could help astronauts diagnose illness in space and allow them to identify disease-causing microbes on the International Space Station.
It reminded me of a question we asked service leaders more than 10 years ago – ‘Does the DNA of customer service exist in UK board rooms?' Back then the answer was a resounding ‘No’! However, I’d like to think we have made progress since but to get a more ‘scientific’ view we’ll be asking you all soon to tell us if we have indeed made progress.
Ten years on our agenda has become much more complex – decisions around onshore, offshore, near shore, back shore, digital, voice, chat, video – all focused on getting the ‘coding’ right for your own service offering. Does it mean we are entering a new era of customer service? Do we need to re-sequence our own DNA to ensure the transformation we work towards achieving is the right one?
To support any progression towards service improvement, we still need the same support from boards that was challenged 10 years ago. If we have boards who feel that service is an ‘extra’ rather than ‘mission critical’ we will still be answering the original question with a negative. There needs to be a will to be a way.
Many organisations are fully committed to delivering the best for their customers and we had a fantastic session this week with a range of leading brands discussing the future of outsourcing and how their partnerships can help drive the transformation they hope to achieve. The group of in-house operators (and partners) collectively service more than 70m customers across private and public sectors.
The agenda for these businesses has been reprogrammed in recent years and there has been a significant shift from traditional SLAs and metrics to much more of a focus on output measures designed to support customer satisfaction and improved experience. The DNA has definitely changed for many in their contract agreements which seek to drive the right behaviours in their partners and support a transformational agenda versus an old fashioned, cost-based agreement no longer fit for purpose.
The good news too is that businesses are committed to working differently with partners and they aren’t now seen as just a place to outsource their problems to but very much a strategic part of their service delivery.
We’ll be continuing this agenda and more as we head towards ourAnnual Convention on 16 & 17 November in Glasgow where we will be very much asking if we are entering a new era of customer service. We hope to conclude the event by re-sequencing ideas and opinions about service DNA and supporting your decisions to make your service ‘out of this world’!