Perfection In Service Delivery

Perfection In Service Delivery

“Transformation literally means going beyond your form” (Wayne Dyer)

In service delivery progression, to ensure the levels of service you provide is not regressing and you infuse improvements on a continuous basis. It is also called improvising the services. You can do this in many ways; few examples are bench-marking, replication of best practices, technological improvements, changes based on feedback, and your own experience.

In this context, let us look at the dictionary meaning of the word ‘Perfection’. Perfection connotes excellence, faultlessness, rightness, exactness, precision, flawlessness, aptness, or accomplishment. In service delivery, we all do this to strive excellence to meet the customers’ expectations. It is expected that customers appreciate improvising the services on a continuous basis; however, doing it right at the first time is what delights them. It means you deliver the services as expected by your customer on the above perfection connotes. What a coincidence, all the meanings of “perfection” fits so well for the service industry.

Sometime back I went to a two-wheeler showroom to buy a bike for my son. The dealer representative promised me to get the bike for a test ride in the evening at 5.30 pm to my residence. When I called him at 5.45 pm. He said that he has just picked up the bike and would be there in 45 minutes and never turned up.  Despite calling him several times from 7 pm, there was no response.  Finally, at about 8 pm, another person, a lady, picked up the call and told me that the test ride could be done only the next day around 11.30 am. In this prelude for a deal, I found that the concern for customers was completely missing and the above sequence of events were not meeting my expectations.  Let us analyze what could have been done better. Since there was a commitment to meet at 5.30 pm, in case of any hurdles, the representative could have called me and updated that he is taking time and would reach at a specified time.  Even after this if he really had difficulty in reaching, he should have called and requested me to accommodate for a test drive the next day.  Though I had extremely high expectations from the dealer, he never made any genuine attempt to honor his commitment to satisfy the customer's expectations.  The whole experience on service Excellence was missing which has resulted in losing the customer.

In the early days of my career (1996-97) I was working with a couple of my colleagues on an assignment to replace all the smaller UPS systems and replace them with N+1 UPS configuration for the facility. Since it was a fully operational facility, it was a big challenge to shut down the facility.   However, due to Diwali festival, we got 5 days’ time and took this opportunity for a complete facility shutdown to make these changes.    We were able to make this the most successful project because the team had done meticulous Planning, Organizing & excellence in execution by following the five-step process as detailed below: –

  1. Overall project plan prepared with hour-by-hour activity basis.

  2. As most shops will be closed during this time, the team had thought about what possible spares might be required and made adequate stock well before starting the activity.

  3. A check list of items required were prepared and ensured everything was in place including tools and tackles.

  4. Vendor commitments and the details of manpower to be deployed worked out in detail. Detailed discussions were held with executing contractors and all of them were detailed on work to be done and the time frame

  5. Execution team with clear roles and responsibilities identified. The project plans were reviewed at multiple levels to ensure all requirements were considered and nothing is left out.

Improved service levels are important to meet the customer expectations, which is to go hand in hand with excellence in service delivery (perfection).

Five essentials for perfect service delivery are:

  1. High on dependability. Once the job is assigned, you must ensure it gets done without reminders.

  2. Commitment to commitment. You should fully commit to the commitments made and its timely completion.

  3. In-depth planning, organizing and execution skills. (We looked at this with the above example.)

  4. Build a culture of excellence in whatever you do. Example: MacDonald’s outlets, Pizza Hut outlets. They have clear written down service levels and standards to excel. Standards and service levels are maintained irrespective of who the service person is or time of the visit.

  5. Passionate about things you do. If you take ownership and passionate of the processes involved, it will get done right at the first time itself, meeting customer expectations.

“Excellence is not so much a battle you fight with others, but a battle you fight with yourself, by constantly raising the bar and stretching yourself and your team.” Azim Premji