Why the British Love “Triple A” Customer Service

Guest Post By James Lawther, Head of Operations Excellence at Royal & Sun Alliance, UK

For my sins I am British and we can’t get enough “Triple A” customer service. Oddly if I talk to my American colleagues about “Triple A” customer service I get a very mixed response. The polite ones look at me quizzically; those who have been stranded at the side of the road with a car full of children tend to be a bit more forth right.

It took me a while to realise (sorry realize) that Triple A are the guys who fix cars. So to avoid doubt let me be clear, I am not writing about roadside assistance.

In this context “Triple A” stands for the best strategy I know to improve customer service and business performance.

Like all the best strategies it is nice and simple. First you think about what your operation does:

  1. And then you make it Good
  2. And then you make it Better
  3. And then you make it the Best

Let me give you some examples:

We have a staffing forecast to align agents to calls:

  1. And we made it good by including the marketing plan
  2. And we made it better by feeding back the actual volumes
  3. And we made it the best by letting the fulfillment team have it as well

We have a service improvement ideas scheme:

  1. And we made it good by giving employees time to implement their idea
  2. And we made it better by having dedicated IT support to help implementation
  3. And we made it the best by reviewing accomplishments with our Chief Operating Officer every month

We have a fault finding guide on the intranet:

  1. And we made it good by auditing all the hyperlinks
  2. And we made it better by adding a wiki so staff could update it
  3. And we made it the best by letting customers use it to fix their own issues

You might like some of these ideas, you might loathe them. The ideas aren’t the important thing, the principle is. Have a good think about what your customer service could be like if you applied the And And And strategy.

James Lawther

James Lawther

And I have saved the best for last. When you start to apply an And And And strategy sooner or later you will deliver “Quadruple A” customer service.  The fourth A stands for Awesome.

(Though in the UK awesome means instilling fear and scaring small children, you should know we don’t like that from our customer service providers.)

About The Author:

James Lawther gets upset by operations that don’t work and apoplectic about poor customer service. Visit his web site “The Squawk Point” to find out more about service improvement.

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