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Good service key driver

05 October 2011

Recent results from a survey of 180 businesses conducted in September has revealed that service is now a critical boardroom issue, with 68% of respondents stating it is a major factor affecting market share.

Cognito conducted a nationwide survey to understand the effect of rising customer expectations and demanding service level agreements, and to understand what aspects of a business are priorities when it comes to managing service-based and mobile workforce operations.

The data, collected over a period of weeks from UK businesses, and attendees to Service Management Expo 2011 held last month in Birmingham, demonstrated that service is becoming increasingly fundamental to business performance. A further 21% of respondents stated that it was growing in importance as a factor affecting market share.

The survey also investigated operational elements thought to contribute most to a company’s ability to provide strong levels of service. Workforce productivity ranked top with 74% of respondents listing it as their main priority.

Other factors scoring as high priority by level of importance were: response rates (64%), staff morale (51%) and access to real-time information / data (56%).

Respondents where also asked to state what they believed to be the biggest challenge for service organisations. Answers ranged from ‘not having the right staff or equipment’, to ‘increasing competition’. The most frequently raised challenge related to having the right person at the right place at the right time with the right tools for the job.

“Although workforce productivity is a top priority, it is still clearly an area that needs to be improved,” said Jonathan Chevallier, Strategic Development Director at Cognito. “Companies are at different stages of evolution, but few can’t improve further. Some have still to invest in robust mobile workforce solutions which will automate their processes, others now need to tackle the optimisation challenge and for the more advanced there is often still a need to invest in performance management tools to provide real-time visibility, insight and the ability to take action. In National Customer Service Week, these results seem to be particularly poignant with businesses now recognising the financial imperative to focus on service as their competitive differentiator.”

National Customer Service Week is running 3-9 October, 2011 in the UK.

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