Tag Archives: Consumer

Are you delivering excellent service?

I too often hear the phrase service excellence used these days when describing technology delivery services, and in most cases there’s no definition of what this actually means.

Service excellence word cloud

Let’s go back to basics then and look at we mean by excellence in this context.  From the Oxford dictionary, we have “The quality of being outstanding or extremely good”.  Another definition is as a quality that people really appreciate, because it’s hard to find, and as being the quality of excelling, of being truly the best at something.

I like this last one – being the best at something and excelling – so going above and beyond the normal expectations, and importantly setting new standards.

It’s this excelling at something that hits the mark for many customers when it comes to service.  Many of the organisations I’ve worked with and for, have been in challenging situations around their customer service, customer experience etc, and one of the focuses for my role there has been to revitalise their approach and work to transform the way they engage with customers, be they internal or external customers.

In this day and age, we’re all consumers (outside of the normal workplace) of goods and services and our expectations have changed significantly over the last few years.  It’s now all about a truly anyhow, anywhere and anytime culture, and this has a huge impact on how organisations need to work and change and adapt.

To add to this challenge, some of the more legacy technology services that we’re delivering – as well as the new innovative solutions an services – just have to work.  Email is a great example.  If your email service is 100% available, 24×7, and can be accessed wherever you are on any device, is this an excellent service or is it just expected?

I read an interesting article a few weeks back, on cio.com, titled “7 Steps to Excellent Service Delivery“, by Phil Weinzimer – do take a look, there are some really good ideas here.

7 steps to excellent service delivery

Phil sets out a 7 step plan that CIOs can use, to improve the delivery of their services to the business, and the core theme is understanding the business objectives better and delivering to meet those.

In summary the 7 steps that Phil’s lists are:

  1. Identify the business and commodity services required by the business units
  2. Identify the key stakeholders and priority for each business service
  3. Build and develop the enterprise list of business services, for each unit
  4. Socialise and communicate across the enterprise
  5. Develop and execute the work plan, and get stakeholder buy-in
  6. Continuously measure the service delivery – and build and use business focused SLAs
  7. Continuously improve – regularly evaluate the service with the stakeholders and users

I really like this approach.  It’s critical as I’ve mentioned to engage more with the business and key stakeholders, and to be able to respond in a very agile manner to their needs!

How does your service measure up?  And what does excellent service mean to you?


Content over consumption – coming soon

A topic that I’ve been thinking about for sometime now and with my own children growing up immersed in technology, have been wondering if content over consumption is or will be a problem.  Is anyone else thinking about this?

Content is everywhere and so accessible and at lower and lower prices, and everybody is creating and publishing their own content.  Blogs, videos, photos, apps, web-sites, Facebook pages and more.  When we access and consume all this content are as focused as we should be?  Are we spending the time the content deserves or needs to understand it properly?

I’m a big fan of digital media and technology and yes I buy into the anywhere, anyhow and anytime philosophy.  I like to be able to decide when and where and how I access the content and what content I’m accessing.

Mrs. Noble’s not convinced about my 2 screen policy in the living room – i.e. watching TV and using the iPad or iPhone at the same time (be it for browsing, Twitter, e-mails or anything).  Her argument goes that I’m not focused on the one activity – one content consumption activity – so I can’t be getting the most out of it.  She has a point and a good one.  Yes it does take a lot for a TV programme to grab my attention fully but unless  I consume the content and focus on it and nothing else, am I off to a bad start?

What got me really thinking about this was a BBC programme that’s on now, called “The Men Who Made Us Fat“, with Jacques Peretti.  The title of this grabbed me and I thought I’ve got to watch it, as it’s surely all about self control so I was dying to see what they had to say and how it can be possibly be someone else’s fault.  But I stand corrected – it’s an eye opener to say the least.  Some critics of the programme disagree – quite harshly – but it makes some very very good points and there were a number of pivotal points over the last 40 or so years that have contributed to over consumption of food, that you can’t argue with.

Keep with me, this is relevant to the subject of content over consumption as you’ll see…

These pivotal points include:

  • The availability of cheaper high calorie food – through sugar and corn syrup.
  • The new idea of a snack – food consumption away from the traditional meals.
  • Counter service food – fast food and takeaways, food when I want and where I want.
  • Food manufacturers creating new low fat alternatives but still full of sugar.
  • And food anywhere, anyhow and anytime – it’s everywhere you go.

And these have all contributed to a growing over consumption of food and yes the related health issues – particularly in the Western world.

Now back to content – let’s look at the similarities…

  • The mass availability of cheap rich media content – e.g. from YouTube.
  • Content snacks as cheap small pieces of content – e.g. music tracks and short episodes.
  • Counter service – content anywhere I want through iTunes, Amazon, Google etc.
  • New types of content from creators – e.g. apps for £0.69.
  • And content anywhere, anyhow and anytime – what the consumer is wanting.

Content over consumption is coming and for some it’s already here.  Is it a problem though?  That’s the million dollar question.  I don’t think so if we manage the consumption properly – and this is down to individuals and parents.  Moderation is the key word and content is good in the right amounts and when appropriately filtered for the little guys.  We don’t want to stop the trends we’ve got now, with everyone being able to create their own high quality content – and build up those associated creative (and technology) skills.  But at the same time we don’t want to create a bottomless content pit where you can’t sort out the good from the bad easily and become overwhelmed by the volume.

Yes content is king but it’s about quality not quantity.

And some thoughts from the Dalai Lama to finish on…

How do you make money with streaming media?

A great post here, on a very similar theme to the post I did last week about digital content consumption and the need for changing business models and how content creators (such as artists) get paid.  Care of tuneCORE.

Can Artists Get Rich In A Streaming Music Industry? | TuneCorner Music Blog.

Asks some great questions…  In the digital world, will artists make the same money they did in the physical world?  Who’ll make the money?  What business models will work?  How will you access and consume digital content (music in the case of the post but similar questions for all types of digital content)?  Yes the article is by tuneCORE who provide services for artists moving to the online and digital world – so a bit of a sales pitch for them.  I have no links to them whatsoever – other than being interested in the same space.  But very very relevant and topical questions, in the digital world.

And streaming of content is very much in-line with what I’ve been saying about the changing needs for “owning” content.  I don’t want physical media taking up space in the house any more or even digital media taking up storage space.  I want to be able to access my content whenever I want, wherever I am and however I want.

Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” – the very aptly named single from The Who from 1945…

What are you doing about moving your business online and consumers’ changing habits for getting and consuming content?  Anything?  Nothing?