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CSI: More Than A Cop Show

By Julian Ratcliffe, Sales Coordinator, Marval


The other evening, I was watching a programme about some disgruntled commuters who decided that they could run London South East railways more effectively than the current franchise holders; so got together to put in a bid, as they felt they could do a better job in providing an excellent level of customer service.

Having no expertise in how to run a railway, they went to speak to other European railway companies to get an idea of how to run a punctual, clean and reliable service without neither drivers’ potential illness nor the wrong type of snow stopping trains running. They ended up in Switzerland. The Swiss railway company SBB is state-owned, but run better than most private companies. One of the directors mentioned that, despite providing excellent service, they were always wanting to do better than before. It was their duty to continually want to improve their level of service.

The disgruntled commuters (who actually were customers of the rail company) have sent a clear and loud message: someone is always accountable when things go wrong (or should be). If you don’t apologise to your customers and take drastic measures to improve your service, you should expect them to show their frustration, either by refraining from any further interactions with your organisation, or by choosing to do business with your competition.

Continual Improvement is something all companies should strive for. In our industry, we call it Continual Service Improvement – CSI. But what does it mean? How do you achieve it? Let’s have a look at the evidence. Technology is always improving. If you don’t keep up today you will suffer. Look at Nokia, for example. Back in the mid-2000s they were the leading mobile phone company. Then along came the iPhone and the world changed. Nokia decided not to keep pace and lost out massively. Resting on your laurels is no longer an option. Just when you think you’ve cracked improving your level of service, someone will always do it better.

It’s a never-ending cycle. That’s why it’s called continual service improvement. There are always better ways of doing something. Organisations have to strive for this, because their customers are expecting it. It’s in our nature as human beings to want to improve. Bigger house, faster car, nicer clothes, more money, better medicines, live longer. Culturally, human beings are built to be better than previous versions. 

In the world of service management, having the right ITSM tool will help organisations do things faster, better, more efficiently and more cost effectively. Automation frees up team members to look at the areas that make the biggest difference to their customers. CSI should be the epicentre of ICT operations; an unceasing, uninterrupted process built around customer satisfaction, increasing people’s responsibility and making them active contributors to the service improvement process.

Like the old railway ad said: let the train take the strain. Looking for ways to improve your service needn’t be painful. After all, it’s what we were born to do. Technology will just make it all easier. And more effective, too.


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