Organization Issues and Solutions
Question: A local cable company, Zeron, has had a monopoly on cable services in the County. As a result, the number of customers has grown significantly. In order to keep up with the high call volumes, Zeron has outsourced several agent and customer service positions. There has been a high level of customer complaints over the past few years, both to the company and to the Public Service Commission, which oversees the cable company. In the past decade, without any competition for cable services, Zeron has chosen to do little or nothing to reduce the complaints or attempt to correct the causes of the complaints. The areas with the highest percent of complaints include: long hold times, complaints about the customer service agents (apathetic, unprofessional, unresponsive, and not knowledgeable), inaccurate billing and extra fees, failing to meet scheduled appointments, service disruptions, and an unacceptable level of complaints not being resolved on first call.
There have been many articles written in the local papers and discussed by the media that Zeron’s employees – the customer service agents, technical staff, field staff and even management – have failed in meeting the needs of their customers. Staff absenteeism has grown and the annual employee satisfaction survey has shown that employee morale and job satisfaction are at all time lows. Additionally, a recent customer service survey of all public service providers in the county ranked Zeron last with an average score of 2.2 on a scale of 5 in overall customer service.
Recently the Public Service Commission approved two new cable providers for the county and they have started making deep cuts into Zeron’s market share. In fact, the competitors’ marketing and advertising has focused on excellent customer service and exceeding customer expectations. The company has requested assistance from your consulting firm to help it improve its service quality and, therefore, stop the loss of its customer base and possibly win back some of its lost customers.
Be specific in your responses.
1. What specific actions would you take to improve Zeron’s service structure and its overall level of service?
2. What step-by-step approach would you recommend in creating a customer-centric culture throughout Zeron?
3. Utilizing the criteria for Category 3.2 of Baldrige, what actions would you take to build better customer support and customer relationship management (CRM)?
4. What specific actions would you take to improve the overall morale, spirit of service and commitment of Zeron’s employees?