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Showing posts from January, 2009

Improving service through systems

Whenever there is a risk that a customer might not be getting the best service possible – consider the system. Many times people look purely at the people who are working with the customer – are they doing the right things? Do they have a good attitude? These are normal questions to ask. It has been stated that the system accounts for 94% of the effects created – the people in the system therefore can only have a limited effect on what happens. Considering the system makes us ask other questions. How can the system allow us to deal with customers swiftly? How can the system allow errors to be made? How does the system please our customers? By considering both the system and the people operating the system you get a more complete picture of how to improve this area of performance. Of course, this isn't an excuse to back down when people are abusing the system/customers! Smartspeed Consulting Limited 'For When Results Matter'

Marginal efforts

When you state ‘marginal efforts’ people think about the lack of effort being put into that activity. What if the marginal efforts were applied after the other work had been done? This would be extra effort – making marginal efforts potentially a good thing. So, if at the end of the working day one last activity were undertaken – something small, what would happen at the end of the year? The additional efforts could have made a project come to life, a new skill be learnt, or new relationships formed with colleagues or clients. What additional small activities could you add in to your working day? Smartspeed Consulting Limited 'For When Results Matter'

Provoking a review

A lot of people review where their businesses (and personal lives) are heading around this time of year. New business plans are drawn up and new objectives are considered. Many of these plans aren't reviewed or updated as the year passes, and this is a real shame. Finding ways to provoke reviews within the business can help with more timely corrections in which way the business is heading. Do this on a regular basis and it gives a degree of control that many businesses don't have. The review of course needs to be meaningful, it needs to be able to get people to think, not just allow a session for perfunctory feedback that doesn't actually help the company in any real way. The questions that are used during the review could of course be standardised so that the process develops over time, that this exercise gets better as the experience grows. If the process is slightly uncomfortable because if forces people to be clear about what is happening then this too is a benefi