He who fails to plan is planning to fail. Wise words to follow, particularly in business, and especially when you consider the complex and unpredictable nature of service.
Service is a moving target, but this shouldn’t be an excuse for not planning strategically for it. In fact, the most successful service companies try to predict the unpredictable, or at least to prepare for it, with contingency planning. In a nutshell, this planning can be divided into three parts: prepare, adapt and monitor.
Preparation – This part is obvious, but it has to be implemented carefully: it’s about ramping up your organization on information, training, logistics, procedures and tools, so that when service needs to be delivered, resources are available and optimum service performance is achievable.
Adaption – This part can be tricky as it’s about how you respond to actual customers’ requests for service – a time where discrepancies between theory and reality often appear. In this instance, manufacturers should be prepared… not to be (fully) prepared. It’s a required mindset for service people and management in order to deliver best-in-class service. Instilling real-time flexibility and efficiency is a crucial step in getting both the company and its employees ready to tackle this paradox.
Monitoring – Lastly, monitoring your plan allows you to leverage the service experience and make tweaks where needed. Feedback from service people and customers is crucial to honing a great service package, and should be a major player in your overall strategy.
How is your company planning for successful service?
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