A report published by Lloyd’s this week based on a global survey of 500 business leaders found that losing customers and not being able to recruit the right level of ‘talent’ were the two main worries faced by employers today. Lloyd’s CEO Richard Ward said, “Two years ago, businesses told us they were primarily concerned about the cost and supply of credit. Now they are facing an even greater business fundamental, with many wondering just what’s happened to their customers, and where can they find the skilled staff they so desperately need.” This is a clear message for organisations to wake up and leverage their frontline staff to ensure they have as much interaction and influence where it counts. Effectively, this is an unambiguous mandate for better customer service.

Brand damage can be wrought by poor customer service especially in the context of increasing media spotlighting of under-performing organisations. This week saw the Daily Mail wooden spoon award which highlighted well known firms voted for by the public, from a shortlist of ten big brands, which had generated a large number of complaints over the past year. 
These stories provide a cautionary tale for companies seeking sustainability in the current climate. Instead of excellent customer service being an aspiration during buoyant economic times, it instead should form the vanguard of an organisation’s resistance of economic pressures. When some of our largest brands are at the centre of shocking revelations regarding mis-selling and customer faith in organisations is at an all-time-low, we must be careful not to further erode trust. The role of front line staff in customer contact centres has become ever more challenging in these conditions which is why the Global Standard© provides organisations with guidance to encourage and support the development of professionalism and customer service delivery. It offers key principles to ensure that the requirements and guidelines reflect the latest customer focused approach being taken by today's contact centre operators. It provides an inexpensive way of guarding against such brand damage by promoting service excellence, trust and transparency. As BBC’s Nicky Campbell said at Convention 2011 “Why aren’t all organisations doing this”?
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate NS&I, whom we visited this week, on achieving Version 5 of Global Standard©. We are delighted that they can also welcome those organisations who want to consider becoming accredited to their centres as a reference site. This should help promote good practice in achieving better customer service, which is at the core of organisational success in difficult times.
 To find out more about CCA Global Standard© please contact carol.walker@cca-global.com