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Is there a secret to outstanding customer service?



The CEO of a retail banking firm wished he knew the answer to this question. At the time, he was very dissatisfied with the service levels across his network of more than 1,000 branches. An employee survey and root cause analysis revealed that 88% of staff felt they needed more training to better serve customers, but their supervisors were unavailable – with 51% of their time spent on administrative tasks and 30% reacting to problems. This impacted morale to the extent that 67% of staff would resign if offered a job with equal pay.

So, getting back to the CEO, there was no magic solution. Not just any approach would easily win the hearts and minds of his stakeholders. In fact, our experience tells us that change can be extremely difficult. It is important for people to have the right incentives and proper guidance, as well as a thorough understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Good communications is a great starting point, but a full immersion into the culture of the organization is how counterproductive issues in the workplace, such as silos, rework, redundancies and bottlenecks are typically revealed and addressed.

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