Structured for Service?

Yet another company is caring about customer service, and this one is an Australian telco – Telstra. The organization is trying to get rid of its reputation for horrible customer service by – in part – creating a combined structure for its sales and service areas. According to a Wall Street Journal article, Telstra wants to “improve service, win customers, simplify processes and build new growth businesses.”

In short, it’s restructuring for the money. Who knows today if it will work for tomorrow, but the attempt has some key points that need to be addressed.

First, your organizational structure has a HUGE impact on customer service. We see this all the time with hospitals and pro sports teams alike. Two different departments talk to the same customer (i.e., patient or season ticket holder) at two different times. Does one department know what the customer just communicated to another department? Think “shift change” on a hospital unit or a handoff of a new sale to a season ticket account representative on a sports team. Is the organization structured for responsiveness and seamless communication?

The article also talks about how structures impact processes. If you’ve ever tried to get a permit to renovate a building or to add a deck to your home, you know about which I’m referring. How many different places do you have to go, people do you have to interact with, information sources you have to research to get the “okay” to do the work? The structure of most local governments emphasizes the efficiency of the siloed department above the efficiency of the overall process from the customer’s perspective.

To improve customer service, look at your structures and processes. Where do they hinder Service Excellence?

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Posted on in Business Advice, Government, Healthcare, Sports

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