Being a researcher gives privileged access to thinking, ideas and wisdom which each year we piece together to suggest the trends for the coming year. In the last year we have seen some scrappy business and public decisions overshadow the extremely good work being done and 2019 is the year where this good work needs to shine.
I remember a conversation I had with a senior manager in the company I was working at in the early 1990’s who was clear that as we had the word ‘service’ in our department title, we were the only people in the business who should be talking to customers. How someone can separate their role and the work they do from delivering service may be difficult to comprehend nowadays, but have these views really changed that much?
When we thought customer satisfaction or net promoter (likelihood to recommend) were the most important scores, life was simple, and often this was all that is asked. However, we have found that neither of these measures actually drives better service or greater profit or efficiency. We know it is trust and confidence which do, so how do we measure these?
At Halo we specialise in why people do what they do, which means that for the last twenty five years I have studied the effect on people of hundreds of different scenarios, communication methods and services of every description. Conversations drive how people feel and therefore what they do and I have seen how four different emotions in conversation affects behaviours. These four emotions operate in a hierarchy starting with, empathy. In each example the speaker is the person with the “issue” and the listener the person receiving the “issue”.
We have never been exponents of the smiley face versions of questionnaires but we are interested in understanding human emotions and with happiness being a primary emotion, we wanted to investigate how to design that in to organisations. We think we know how and it is easier than one might think.
Whenever I interview really senior people in large organisations I am generally struck by their humility. Indeed the more successful the individual generally the more humility they will have, but how could those behaviours be emulated by everyone?
I have been investigating services for a very long time and there is something which always prevails, which when you know and truly believe it, you can use to your advantage. That is that good beats bad every time, so why is service often poor?
If you have just got off the phone from a call centre or left a service provider feeling annoyed, you might think this cannot be right, the default has to be bad not good. Well, whilst you might have been the recipient of poor service, I can guarantee you the person delivering that service will be feeling disappointed too. What I have learnt in service provision is that no one sets out at the beginning of their day or shift keen to do a bad job. So why does it happen?
What would it feel like to know what those around us think and feel? We probably wouldn’t like everything we found out but would it mean that longer term we could afford to be more honest about our own short comings and get something done about them?