Understanding Mobile Phones

There are three types of savings an organisation can make from a convergent solution: call costs, infrastructure and productivity.

Savings delivered through convergence

Although call cost savings are the easiest to measure, they provide the least scale for savings. More benefits can be derived through infrastructure efficiencies and productivity.

Infrastructure savings are delivered through fixed-line replacement strategies and green field site deployments. This impacts the CAPEX and ongoing OPEX requirements of owning a fixed and mobile fleet.

Productivity and improved business processes, whilst providing the greatest opportunity for organisations to derive benefits from convergence, are also the hardest to quantify. For example, while a converged voicemail solution may save an employee five minutes of effort a day, the real benefit may not directly be derived through having an extra five minutes for ‘productive’ work. The benefits may, in fact, be delivered through customer satisfaction and repeat business as a result of improved response times. However, most businesses now measure customer satisfaction as a key performance indicator. Therefore, the increase in productivity and potential process re-engineering which can be achieved will have a positive impact on customer satisfaction levels.

Benefits include

Extending fixed line call features to mobile handsets
Reducing call costs
Improving the responsiveness of the business
Delivering control – for instance, for compliance with FSA regulations
Reducing duplication
Ease of extending capacity
Improving productivity

The use of converged solutions also enables the workforce to be more productive through functions such as mobile access to direct dial extensions and conferencing. Employees are able to respond faster to voicemails, and benefit from reduced telephone tag as they are able to answer more calls first time. Specific productivity gains are illustrated by the following examples:

Consultants within a Healthcare Consultingcompany achieved a 10 to 15% productivity gain as a result of reduced telephone tag.

Carers at a Home Care Servicescompany achieved time savings of 60 minutes each day per employee due to fewer voicemails, more calls answered first time and reduced telephone tag.

A specialist call centre within a Travel Insurancecompany handled 25% more calls as a direct result of increased responsiveness of staff.

A Universityachieved one hour time saving per day for IT support staff, minimising delays in reaching colleagues to issue job instructions or resolve issues.

Within a Hospital, nurses were able to save at least 10 minutes each time they retrieved patient results, by being able to access and check results irrespective of location within the hospital.

Life In The Service Industry

PERSONAL QUALIFICATIONS

My personal background in the service industry is in the telecommunications field. Beginning my career in 1970 with the Bell System before Divestiture, I left after the government forced the breakup of Ma Bell and have been in the private business world of telecommunications ever since.

During the early years of my career I was taught the importance of customer service and maintaining the correct relationship to customers. Two of the Bell System’s top priorities were “safety” and “customer service”; safety for the employees and service for the customer which included a high quality in the standard of work practices and ethic.

Becoming a business owner, I was introduced to business world situations that a novice could never have dreamed of and it is always rewarding to work through them. I believe that our strong commitment to service excellence is what has carried our company for 22 years. The service excellence ethic that I had been taught and conformed to was easily incorporated into my business. Instilling this ethic into the hearts of technicians that haven’t come from that environment has always been the challenge. Some get it and make great team members. We all agree that everyone in our business has basically the same products and pricing. What sets us apart is our commitment to our customer’s needs when they need us.

THE QUEST FOR SERVICE EXCELLENCE

The particular industry with which you are connected doesn’t matter. The concepts that we will discuss remain valid for all with the result being to safely provide a quality product to your customer and make a profit in the process.

When we hear the word “service” in the context of the business world, it brings to mind someone providing a desired product, tangible or not, to someone else. This product should be designed to bring satisfaction to the customer and bring them to the point of willingly rendering legal tender to the provider. When it all works properly, the customer is satisfied with the product and the provider makes a reasonable profit and is able to comfortably seek another customer and not be apprehensive to invite former customers back.

Of course, I have just explained free enterprise and what happens when the system is employed properly. The proper understanding of providing service to customers and clients makes the American economy tick. The misunderstanding of providing customer service makes consumers sick.

May I say up front that making a profit is not a sin to be shunned but is the backbone of free enterprise. The potential of owning a profitable business keeps the entrepreneur focused on his goals and this in turn provides jobs to the economy. As in anything else in this world, overindulgence and the extravagant and unnecessary profit by taking advantage of others is wrong. But the enjoyment of a reasonable profit for a business will keep that business alive and healthy for you, the customer to return and claim that great product again.

IT ALL BEGINS WITH ATTITUDE

A Service Manager who I know told his boss, “We have spoiled our customers!” The boss said, “Yes, we want every one of them to think that we have our tools in hand and our hand on the doorknob just waiting for their call.” That’s the service attitude it takes.

In our next posts we will discuss Service Attitude, Performance, Leadership and Stories and Experiences of the sometimes roller coaster ride and never dull life in the service business.

LIFE IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY PART 2

IT ALL BEGINS WITH ATTITUDE

Providing great customer service starts when you get up each day. It begins with ATTITUDE. I don’t believe this is just a simple cliché. The life you live each day begins with an attitude of some kind. Abraham Lincoln said words to the effect that a man is just about as happy as he makes up his mind to be. I have seen that to be true with a service mindset also. You can allow situations to occupy your thinking or you can put those aside, concentrate on providing properly for your customer and then pick them up later at an appropriate time. Don’t worry. They will be there waiting for you.

We know that most days are filled with challenges of all kinds. Employees, schedules, equipment breakdowns, customer complaints…the list goes on. So if you know at the outset this is going to be the usual day, why begin in a grumpy mood? You already have a head start on it by knowing what to expect, so make it a positive. You are only making your day more difficult if you dwell on the negative that will come. Be tenacious as you greet each new challenge. When you work through it to success, your reward of satisfaction will be awesome; and if a customer witnesses your positive approach to their problem, you will raise your value with them.