Service-Ability: Create a Customer Centric Culture and Achieve Competitive Advantage
Times have changed.
Long gone are our days of being kings of the manufacturing industry, we are now immersed in the world of ‘service’ where the relationship between an organization and the customer is an integral part of the ‘product’ offering. The nation is suffering from a widespread lack of truly customer-satisfying service. We lack the very thing that we need to make this new paradigm work efficiently: service-ability.
Organizations of all kinds are facing high customer churn, serious customer antagonism, loss of consumer confidence and plummeting customer satisfaction. Research shows that totally satisfying the customer is the only thing that will secure loyalty and offer significant competitive advantage. Yet still, on a daily basis we encounter service that frustrates us.
Whilst the emergence of technology has no doubt brought
efficiency to many areas of business activity, including the third
sector, it has led to the standardised and indifferent service we
regularly receive. We appear to have lost sight that people do
business with people. Through efficient technology, our
organisations may be serviceable but they are not service
The arrival of Generation Y and the developments in social media, provide businesses with a whole new way to engage with their customers, but also provide a new way for customers to rate companies, products and services: not always in a positive manner. ‘Like’ or ‘#Fail’ have become part of our social language.
Organizations that refocus on the need to treat customers in a
way that satisfies them, and not the technology, will have better
customer retention, lower costs of replacement and will build their
brand value through better reputations.
Service-Ability delves deeply into these areas to show how today’s managers need to re-think the way we structure, manage, lead and organize our companies to achieve total ‘customer-centric’ work cultures that develop lasting relationships with customers.
1 Connectedness 1
2 Customer Satisfaction and its Link to Pro t 17
3 Our Industrial Legacy 37
4 Our Service Economy 61
5 Servicing Customers is Not Customer Service 83
6 Understanding Service-Ability 105
7 Getting the People Right 115
8 Appropriate Organization 143
9 Effective Leadership 173
10 Clarity of Purpose 211
11 Bringing it All Together 241
Kevin Robson is a former Managing Director and Chief Executive of a number of companies (including as a charity CEO), with extensive management and consultancy experience in a variety of sectors.
He was awarded his MBA with Distinction by the University of Durham and won the Academic Prize in his year for Best Dissertation on the subject of Human Resource Management in the Small and Medium Enterprise, in which field he has also lectured and conducted research at Durham’s Business School.
The holder of the internationally recognized Graduate Diploma in Marketing, he is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and in 1998, was one of the first practitioners to be awarded Chartered Marketer status following the Privy Council granting authority to the CIM to award that status to individuals.
Kevin’s insight into organizations is deep and wide
ranging, and it is from this that the idea of
Service-Ability was born.