Monday, July 10, 2006

Don't move your lips when you say Quality

I am yet to come across a business or meet a CEO that does not brag about "Quality"! "Sure, we produce / deliver / promote / utilize / create - Quality".... I see their lips move, doing a good service; and rarely more.

What about your experience? Did ever your experiences differ from the above, and you heard - "Well, I don't know whether I should admit this, but honestly we strive hard to produce sub-standard stuff... our creative folks are busy figuring out why and how are our customers still getting a high quality experience... and we will fix these anomalies soon..."

I bet your experiences in reference to Quality are exactly same as mine.

Having made the point, now let us delve deeper into the fabrics of these organizations, beyond the facade of the freespeak. We would be dismayed to find that an overwhelming majority of these "Quality promoters" do not have any structured Quality process when it comes to managing Customer Interactions.

People who follow "Exceed your expectations" or "Consulting for Success" closely, will intuitively know that this is the weak link. The business might have built the greatest product, and a robust supply chain, and may command an overwhelming shelf-presence. But the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and their Contact Center Quality Management department CREATES this weakness, by being absent in the corporate structure.

Then there are those who do have the said department, but merely monitoring Agents' Quality - to hire, train, promote, and improve their Agents through the stick-wielding approach (which most agents resent, by the way). These organizations may do well in the short term, but that's because there is a superficial correlation between agent quality and Customer Interaction quality. But these short term 'coincidences' will at best appear as good efforts so far as their customers are concerned. The customers will rarely rate these organizations as 'great'!

What most of the business leaders miss, is the phenomenally higher potential they can exploit with a Customer Interaction oriented Quality process. If only they could learn to glean Customer insights from these interactions, listen to what the customers are saying about them and their competition, get fantabulous product ideas, and also make agents more aligned (as opposed to merely improve them) to the customer expectations!!

Technology is rapidly making these erstwhile 'flights of fantasies' a solid reality. All it needs is the right attention from the CEO!!


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