• 07:23:55 pm on September 28, 2009 | 4
    Tags: , , ,

    Evidence Based Service – The How is harder than the Why

    Service organizations would perform better if leaders applied the best evidence. I’ve dedicated several posts to this subject. It’s a great concept and it’s another thing to do it.

    Some experimentation is easy – for example like what Yahoo! does on its homepage where they typically run over 20 experiments at a time, changing things like colors, placement of ads and location of text or buttons. Outcomes of these experiments can have a huge effect – like moving the search box from the side to center of the home page generated enough click-throughs to bring in about $20M more revenue a year.

    But this requires a mind-set shift–instead of debating which screen design or content works better, you gotta try it, and analyze the results to see what works.

    #1–Treat your service offering as an unfinished prototype. Baseline your performance. Then try to vary something and measure how you do – trying something half baked quickly with the data at hand is often much better than just waiting until you have all the data you need as the urgency to react may have passed.

    #2-Don’t get blindsided by corporate mantra, and organizational half-truths. Many service organizations are managed based on industry best practices, and historical precedence. Base your decisions on just data. Understand what works for you and your customers and do a root cause analysis to understand why changes you have made work or don’t.

    #3-Look at yourself using your customer’s eyes. Do a mystery shopping exercise on your site, and document your strengths and weaknesses. Look at your competitors and see what they do. Do it in a systematic, scientific way, not based on emotion.

    You can apply evidence based service at a micro or macro level-to a simple installation and tuning of a product–for example a new ERMS system. And, you can apply it to optimize a particular service offering, or transform your complete service offering to the next level of operational maturity



  • Haim Toeg 3:29 am on September 30, 2009 | # | Reply

    Kate – Thanks for an excellent post and great advice. Frequently I see people stuck on ‘benchmarking’ other organizations, either for numerical performance metrics or processes and give little thought to their own unique circumstances. My advice to my clients is usually composed of three related statements:

    1. Forget the numbers, look at processes and methods and think whether and how they apply to you. If they do, then:
    2. Experiment, try new systems and processes and see how they impact your organization, you’ll always learn something. But, even if you were successful:
    3. There never is an organizational steady state, keep changing, keep improving


  • Kate Leggett 5:24 pm on September 30, 2009 | # | Reply

    Thanks Haim – I could not agree with you more. What matters most is determining what works for your organization – size, industry, business model etc. Experimentation (never being happy with where you are) is equally important.

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