5 Things That Could Considerably Improve Service Productivity
As we’ve seen from the budget speeches yesterday the UK’s economy is performing relatively well compared with our European friends. However, when it comes to productivity we’re way behind. In fact the UK productivity gap with other developed countries is at its worst for over 20 years. According to the Office of National Statistics, the average British worker produces a startling 30% less than workers in France, Germany and the US. In other words what we produce in a 40 hour week those countries produce in just 28 hours! They could knock off at lunch time on Thursday for the weekend!
The biggest concern with productivity is in the Service Industry and one of the reasons for this could be that it’s simply harder to measure. On a production line it’s relatively straight forward to measure the number of units produced per person per hour. The processes are repeatable, predictable and the output physical. But how do you measure productivity of a service call or insurance claim or a mortgage application or recovering a credit card debt where every transaction is completely different? Some measures have been used, such as Average Handle Times (AHT) but it has long been recognised that these simply drive the wrong behaviours and can create further issues and repeat unnecessary contacts.
I’ve personally had a couple of examples recently of why productivity in service is so poor.
- I had a computer replaced under warranty a couple of weeks ago. The delivery company came to pick up the old computer and a different driver with the same delivery company dropped off the new computer later the same day. I enquired and they both came from the same depot.
- Today I’ve had a technician to look at a fault in the rental apartment I’m currently living in. He found the fault but couldn’t repair it without authorisation so he logged an authorisation request in his system and will return later today or tomorrow to fix it.
Both of these should have been done on one visit, improving productivity and reducing customer inconvenience.
The thing is, poor productivity in the service industry not only increases costs and reduces margin but also has a direct impact on the customer. Potentially causing customers to look for someone else to provide their service.
Some things you could do to improve productivity in your service business:
- Cultivate a culture that encourages and rewards staff to come up with ideas that improve service effectiveness. Have continuous improvement a key component of your company’s strategy.
- Develop and deploy a measurement system that focuses on end-2-end processes performance rather than individual elements.
- Train front-line managers and Team Leaders on tools and techniques to analyse problems and develop solutions.
- Listen to and more importantly act on customer feedback. Customer satisfaction and productivity go hand in hand.
- Empower staff or employ technology what supports rapid decision making.
Reinvigoration can help with a methodology specifically developed for the Service Sector and takes into account the individual and unpredictable nature of each and every transaction. It develops a culture and provides a simple set of tools for service providers to use to improve productivity, reduce costs and improve the service it provides its customers.
For further information please contact our team.