Not surprisingly as we head towards the end of another busy year, many minds are already beginning to focus on plans and strategies for the new year ahead. We’ve been consulting with lots of leading brands in our network over recent weeks and there is a recurring theme rising to the top of the pile focused on, ‘what does good actually look like?’.


This isn’t necessarily a new theme as I’ve lost count how many times it’s been asked over the last 20 years – but with a general growing distrust and lowered expectations amongst consumers, and probably growing frustration, it’s a topic that is increasing in urgency as organisations try to understand the best service strategy for their business.


Recent stats from Ipsos Mori’s report on Customer Loyalty showed that 65% of customers think they had to put a lot of effort in to get things resolved when they had an issue with a company and just under 50% of customers perceive that companies have made little effort to resolve the issue. This begs the question; are we just content to accept that being ‘not bad’ is good enough?


Without getting too political, the recent US presidential election was a clear example of this with many voters not really wishing to vote for either candidate but having to choose from what was on offer. Similarly, as President Elect Donald Trump announces particular decisions or appointments, we seem to give a sigh of relief if we think ‘it’s not as bad as it could have been’.


How does this translate for organisations and the service they offer to customers? Surely being ‘good’ is about keeping promises, setting clear expectations, not falling behind competitors – getting the basics right? Should ‘good’ not be the norm rather than the exception?


Of course all of this is much easier said than done when dealing with many millions of enquiries over the course of the year, over multiple channels and with hundreds or thousands of employees. However, if organisations focus firstly on being good versus brilliant is that a step in the right direction?


All of this is very pertinent as we plan our agenda for our network for the year ahead. I mentioned earlier that we’ve been consulting on what the key issues for next year will be and we are excited by the challenge put to us by members to support them make the right decisions on a wide range of issues including: Agents and chat-bots, where does AI begin and end?; 2020 Vision; Customer and colleague engagement – tipping the scales to find equilibrium; and Trust in a transparent world – just to name a few. Hopefully as we progress through the coming year there will be many ‘aha’ moments and when we review our progress this time next year we’ll be getting closer to achieving ‘good’.