Service Excellence and Technology

Most often Organizations embark on ambitious projects of re-engineering their internal operations and run expensive projects only to realize the results made no impact on the bottom line or on the markets.

Any change that the Organization makes should reflect in some way on its customers, on its markets and show in terms of increasing sales and market share or such identifiable parameters.

On the other hand, if the re-engineering exercise were to follow as a result of an exercise to review and realign its product mix and value proposition to its customers, such projects would be highly effective in bringing about desired results and making an impact on the business.

Today Organizations are spending a lot of time and effort in understanding the markets, in analyzing the trends especially with reference to customer expectations in an effort to be two steps ahead of the customer’s expectations. Such Organizations have a built in culture and outlook or a marketing discipline that makes it focus always on the Customer and the market out there.

Though we must agree that pricing is one area that constitutes a major component of the value and product offering in the market, we must admit that there are many more factors that have become prime factors differentiating the product offering from amongst competitors.

Time and Service have also been major factors that are increasingly dominating the scene today. Thanks to the revolution in telecommunication, technology and internet, the customer expectations and possibilities of augmenting the service delivery experience too has pushed companies to invest in using latest technology to augment its product and service offering.

Customers today can expect to check-into the hotel within a few minutes without having to fill forms and take time to write down their personal details. Technology takes care of holding your personal details and the process of checking in too has been simplified by the technology. Super markets on the other hand have invested in providing express counters and using RFID to make tagging and invoicing easier, thus saving time for the customer.

The convenience of shopping and saving time is found to be an important factor that has brought in several loyal customers to the same shopping mall and stores repeatedly. It is not enough if the super market invests in technology for invoicing or setting up express counters. The rest of the processes of stocking, inventory maintenance as well as replacement and staffing etc will need to be re-engineered in line with the service delivery process to ensure that the entire business process works efficiently while the customer gets the benefit of increased convenience and higher value proposition.

Take the case of courier and freight industry. Companies like FedEx and DHL have dominated the global markets for quite a while now. While they have maintained competitive pricing, they have increasingly focused on increasing the value and quality of service that they provide.

Today’s customers are not willing to wait for Proof of Delivery which they insist should be provided instantly. While it would earlier take anywhere from 24-48 hours for the Companies to retrieve the actual physical POD document and upload on its website for customer’s to check, technology adaptation and investment has led to delivery persons carrying handheld scanners for obtaining customers signatures which is saved and instantly updated as Proof of Delivery. However it is important to note that just by providing this upgraded feature, the Companies haven’t been benefitted. Investments in this technology area may have been quite substantial.

Along with POD confirmation, the Organizations have had to ensure they increase their delivery and coverage points in the network, expand operations in emerging markets like China and more importantly execute faultless service of pick up, connection and on time delivery. These Organisations have had to augment their internal operations to ensure zero defect service deliveries, committed connectivity of cargo and delivery without mistakes.

Service reliability has become the norm for these companies and they continue to strive to maintain as well as excel in this chosen area, thus creating and maintaining their leadership in the market through service and value differentiation and using these factors to drive operational efficiencies and re-engineering the entire operations to meet with the value propositions that it has set for itself.

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