People Processes Ascent Group
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People Processes Ascent Group



To Be Successful, You Must Excel in the “People Processes”...

To Be Successful, You Must Excel in the “People Processes”

The Ascent Group launched a landmark research study in late 2009 to identify “customer service best practices” from all industries in the “people processes” for front-line customer service. Interviewed Best-in-Class Companies - recognized leaders in customer service ; Conducted Multi-Industry Benchmarking Survey of Practices: Recruiting, Hiring, Training and development, Disciplinary process, Awards and incentives .



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    People Processes Ascent Group People Processes Ascent Group Presentation Transcript

    • The Ascent Group, Inc.
    •   Many of your most loyal and skilled employees are facing retirement   It’s more and more difficult, and expensive, to find the right employees   Newer generation of employees have different wants and needs   New technologies and the Internet are revolutionizing recruitment, hiring, training, performance, and customer service itself   The Customer Experience is “It” and customers are expecting more To Be Successful, You Must Excel in the “People Processes” " ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 2
    •   Recognizing this, the Ascent Group launched a landmark research study in late 2009 to identify “customer service best practices” from all industries in the “people processes” for front-line customer service.   Interviewed Best-in-Class Companies - recognized leaders in customer service   Conducted Multi-Industry Benchmarking Survey of Practices: ▪  Recruiting ▪  Hiring ▪  Training and development ▪  Disciplinary process ▪  Awards and incentives ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 3
    • FedExʼs Five Dimensions of Innovations and Performance Culture" Engaged People Growing People Committed People Collaborative Secure People People “A satisfied customer made this possible” is printed on every FedEx pay envelope reflecting a true customer driven culture that recognizes the complete dependence that FedEx has on each of its employees ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 4
    • •  FedEx is driven by meeting and FedEx Continuously Monitors exceeding its customers’ Customers’ Expectations expectations. •  It shares its strategies and goals in The Total Customer Experience plain and simple language. And it Customer Value Proposition Service Quality Indicator Weighting localizes the message. Phone call answered promptly Abandoned Calls 1 •  Executives continually meet with Packages picked up as scheduled Missed Pickups 10 front line employees to both present Packages delivered on time Right day late deliveries 1 FedEx’s organization messages but Wrong day late deliveries 5 just as importantly, to receive information back from the people Packages not damaged Overgoods 5 who most frequently interact with Lost packages 10 FedEx’s customers. Damaged packages 10 •  A more formal form of management Billed correctly Invoice Adjustments 1 Complaints resolved promptly Missing proof of delivery 1 by walking around––a tried and true Complaints reopened 5 method. Traces 1 ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 5
    • The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.   Customers and Employees are Southwest’s top priority   Family, Love, and the Golden Rule   Always capitalize “C” in “Customer” and the “E” in “Employee”.   Paychecks are signed “From Our Customers”   Positively Outrageous Service is stressed from day one to all Employees.   Every Employee recognizes the goal of excellent Customer Service, regardless of rank.   Humor is an essential element and employees are “required” to be fun. “We take the competition seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously.” ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 6
    • Recruitment & Hiring   200,000 applicants annually to fill 4,000 new positions   System matches applicant to location and open position   Briefing, job requirement handouts, minimum hiring form, initial group interview, individual interviews with recruiter, supervisor, peer   Interview team has been carefully selected and trained, committed   Frontline involvement in hiring process builds buy-in and relationships   3-level interview helps understand behavior and attitude “We hire leaders for every position. Leadership has nothing to do with title. We will hire someone and teach someone the technicalities if they are willing to learn. What we will not tolerate is a bad attitude. People know immediately if they are not a good fit at Southwest. There is such peer pressure to maintain the culture. If you can’t laugh at yourself and you're not touchy feely, then Southwest is probably not a good fit for you.” Colleen Barrett, President Southwest Airlines ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 7
    • Performance & Management   Creates a work ethic and atmosphere that emphasizes the employee and the importance of customer service   Actively communicates with employees - routine employee feedback focus groups, regular meetings with management, face-to-face communication, always on a first name basis   Encourages employees to involve families in events and visits to the workplace -- this fosters an at-home support network that makes it enjoyable to come to work   Employees are given general guidelines of their position and then expected and encouraged to go outside those guidelines fearlessly -- empowered to take on the responsibility for maintaining the high performance standards of the company   Promotes community involvement ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 8
    •   Top hiring criteria for the retail stores:   Customer orientation   Attitude   Above average literacy   Enthusiasm   Sales background and desire   EVERYTHING ELSE CAN BE AND WILL BE TRAINED––”We hire based on attitude”   Technical and product training   Sales training   Customer service training ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 9
    •   Gold Standards - easy-to-understand definition of service quality. Aggressively communicated and internalized at all levels of the organization. Key to providing caring service and memorable visits.   Three Steps of Service:   Warm and sincere greeting, using guest name if possible   Anticipation and compliance with guest needs   Fond farwell, using guest name if possible   “The 20 Basics” specify the Ritz-Carlton service philosophy. Each day, all hotel employees around the world discuss the same Ritz-Carlton principal - 1 of the 20, in a 15 minute lineup. This keeps the Ritz philosophy front and center.   Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center created in 2000 as a resource for other companies interested in benchmarking Ritz-Carlton business practices and service philosophy. ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 10
    • Screening & Hiring “We don’t try to convert people to meet our standards, to change their behavior or thoughts—not everyone is cut out to be in a service business. We would rather find people who fit our needs— those who genuinely care to serve people—and put them where they want to be.”   Predictive instrument to assess character traits of applicants versus those demonstrated by successful employees. ▪  Extensive questionnaire that identifies caring, conscientious and enthusiastic candidates ▪  External party screens candidates, using the Ritz behavioral model. Employee Involvement   Employees are vested with the latitude to “move heaven and earth” to satisfy a customer.   If an employee discovers a problem or encounters a customer complaint, he or she owns the problem until the customer is satisfied and the shortcoming rectified. The goal is to resolve 100% percent of complaints before guest departure. ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 11
    • Incentives & Awards   More than 40 different awards of employee excellence   President and senior management routinely thank individual employees for exemplary service   90% of senior management time is spent with customers and employees Training & Development   Each new employee must stay at a Ritz-Carlton hotel to reinforce training, help them feel a part of the family, and to experience the mystique.   New employees undergo a month-long certification program that introduces them to the Ritz-Carlton service philosophy and core values.   Each employee receives a minimum of 310 hours of training the first year and are paired with departmental trainers to ensure comprehension, skill, and knowledge.   Annually, employees must complete a detailed training certification program that includes written and practical demonstrations of the philosophical and technical aspects of the job. ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 12
    • Screening & Hiring   Management Deployed Qwiz online assessments to streamline new agent selection process and strengthen quality of new hires through pre-employment screening   Tests are multiple choice, less than 20 minutes per test. Scores are automatically calculated, candidates ranked based on assessment scores. Three tests are used: ▪  Basic skill assessment evaluates math and following written instructions ▪  Another test simulates customer conversations to test listening skills, computer skills, and give applicants a feel for the type of calls to be handled. Also evaluates customer service attitude, problem solving skills, and emotional intelligence under pressure and predicts productivity ▪  Third test -- trustworthiness, conscientiousness, managing work pressure, getting along with others, and safety orientation. Also screens the more difficult character traits such as drug and alcohol use. Identifies high quality, conscientious, service-oriented employees by rating courteousness, tact, cooperation, attentiveness, helpfulness, and by pointing out people-oriented and extroverted personalities ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 13
    •   Applicants participate in all three tests during one meeting, using web- based browser.   Application takes them through the test bank, one test at a time.   Each test has a tutorial and sample test that can be reviewed prior to taking the test.   Once test is started, system measures the score, even if candidates quit early   Qualified candidates are then scheduled in a face-to-face interview   Management noticed a significant improvement in performance from new hires - cut the time to standard in half -- agents are more productive sooner   AirTran management is impressed with the psychometric analysis and profiling. Hard to contact previous employers and difficult to judge behavior through interview. Removed subjectivity and helped pinpoint the right personalities. ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 14
    •   Strong company culture that emphasizes excellence in customer service, from the top down   Hire the right employees, based on the propensity to serve customers, not technical specialization   Extensive training programs to relay corporate culture as well as job specifics   Career and other development opportunities   Respect for employees and customers   Incentives and recognition programs to reward exemplary performance   Employee involvement opportunities   Extensive internal communications to keep employees plugged-in   Continual improvement   Best-in-Class companies focus on customer service at every step of the process ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 15
    • Industries Represented Countries Represented Consumer Products Belgium Australia 7% Financial 2% 8% Services Canada 7% 7% Hong Kong Utility 2% 31% Government Philippines 5% 2% Healthcare Spain 2% 2% Insurance 5% Retail 5% Travel Services 7% 7% Transportation USA 5% Tech Support 77% Teleservices Telecom 7% (Outsourcing) 10% 2% ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 16
    • Recruitment & Performance Training Management Hiring Emphasis on the Front-end (Hiring) Makes Everything Else Easier " ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 17
    •   Companies use one of four basic approaches to identify candidates with a “customer service” personality Identifying Customer Service   13% use “behavioral” based interview Personality & Skills questions Interviews &   15% report the use of “behavioral-based” Simulation assessment Interviews & Role Playing   Behavior-based interviews and testing advantages: Testing & Interviews   Less time hiring, reduced costs Interviews   Reduced training costs 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%   Less attrition % Participants   Better performance   Reduced absenteeism   Improved morale ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 18
    •   Most companies use pre-hire screening tools or assessments (81%)   Fewer test “customer service” skills, only 18% Top Pre-hire Testing & Assessment Approaches Basic Skills/Aptitude Customer Service Aptitude Personality/Behavioral Fit Telephone Pre-screen Simulator/Role Playing 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% Percent Respondents Reporting ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 19
    •   Talent Plus has worked well for INTRUST Bank.   The company interviewed its highest and lowest performers to identify the scoring range.   Applicants are measured on six different areas.   Ritz-Carlton also uses Talent Plus to assess the character traits of applicants versus those demonstrated by successful employees. “It identifies areas that one excels in and areas that need attention. We have been using Talent Plus for about a year.” ! ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 20
    • Canadian Springs Water - Using SPAS (Service Personnel Appraisal Software). The product has made a "huge improvement in identifying the right candidates":   Less time associated with screening and hiring process = reduced costs   Greatly reduced costs for training.   Most candidates are surviving the probation period.   Of the candidates screened by SPAS none have self-selected out, i.e. finding that the job was "not what they expected".   Of the new hires in the past 8 months, several have already achieved "all star status" in the Contact Centre — they have met or exceeded the performance of Senior Representatives.   Absenteeism overall has reduced by over 40%   Morale has improved ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 21
    • MetLife’s pre-hire screening involves skills testing and simulation to measure an applicant’s fit. •  Service Index Questionnaire measures: •  Customer Service Orientation •  Job Structure Orientation •  Work Environment Orientation •  Multi-media Call Handling Simulation measures the candidate’s ability to: •  manage the customer relationship •  provide accurate and thorough information •  key alpha-numeric data quickly and accurately •  complete calls quickly and efficiently •  The test takes about 1 hour to complete. ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 22
    • Starting Wage - Market Comparison 90% of participants pay above average or competitive starting Below Average wages for entry-level customer-facing position Above Average Competitive Starting Wage - Market Comparison Unionized Companies 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% % Participants Reporting Starting Wage Competitiveness Below Average Above Average All unionized companies pay competitive or above average Competitive wages for entry-level 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% customer-facing position. % Participants Reporting Starting Wage Competitiveness ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 23
    •   Companies use a combination of approaches to convey job expectations to candidates:   Ad and posting relay job expectations Conveying Job Expectations   Interviews - discuss and/or provide hand- to Candidates out to candidates   On-site interview, with direct supervision, Simulation and tour of work environment Job Shadowing   Job shadowing - candidates spend time with front-line employee, observing, Ads/Job Posting hands-on   Job simulation - candidates simulate Interviews working in the job through software/ 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% hardware or simulator % Participants   Many companies reiterate job expectations at each step in the recruitment process. ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 24
    • Key Attributes of a Successful Customer-Facing Employee Communication Skills Take Ownership Empathetic Problem Solving Skills Confident Courteous & Pleasant Positive Attitude Desire to Help Patient Computer / Technology Skills - 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 5.00 6.00 7.00 8.00 Average Ranking (1 = least important) ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 25
    •   Most expect transfers to meet the “new hire” qualifications   Nearly 10% had absolutely no requirements Requirements for Employees Transferring Into Front-line Same as New Hire Solid Performance Demonstrate Customer Service Experience No Requirements 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Percent Respondents Reporting ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 26
    • Recent Changes to Screening Requirements More Customer Service Skills Assessment More Emphasis on "Fit" and "Potential" than "Experience" More Interviews and More Selective 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Percent Respondents Reporting Page 27
    • Recent Improvement to the Recruitment & Hiring Process Better Assessment Tools Enhanced/Revised Interview Process More Targeted Recruitment Online Aps Internal Referrals 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Percent Respondents Reporting ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 28
    • Measuring Quality of Hire Turnover Employee Performance "Fall Out" Rate Tenure Time to Hire 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% % Participants ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 29
    •   Communicate job expectations—Match Expectations with Work Reality   Involvement of functional management and peers in the selection and hiring process—To build buy-in and relationships   Hire for attitude not skill, and potential, not necessarily experience   Behavioral-based screening tools to select candidates with key customer service attributes—Match the Right Individual with the Right Job   Competitive starting wages & benefits   Emphasize the importance of Customer Service ©Copyright 2010 The Ascent Group, Inc. Page 30
    • Ascent Group Publications   Focus   Customer Service Operational Improvement   Customer Service Innovation & Best Practice Discovery   Customer Service Performance Measurement & Benchmarking   Customer Service Market Research   All Industries   Business Type   Professional Services Firm   Management Consulting & Publisher of Industry Research Journals   No hardware, software, or technology vendor affiliations   Company Goal   Providing process-oriented data, information, and management  consulting to help companies improve customer service performance  and customer satisfaction, while reducing customer service cost.   Company Background   Incorporated in Georgia, 1989   Offices in Athens, GA   Certified Female Business Enterprise, State of Illinois, State of Pennsylvania, State of New York, and Nationally through National Woman Business Owners Corporation
    • Christine Kozlosky • President • 120 River Oak Way • Athens, Georgia 30605 TEL 888.749.0001 x.2 • FAX 866.941.0005 32