1. The Quality Management Forum

    April 15, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    The Quality Management Forum is the quarterly refereed publication of the Quality Management Division of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The Forum includes articles on quality management as well as information on QMD activities such as the annual conference and the certified quality manager program.


    In this issue:

    • Strategy Execution: A Balanced Approach to Driving Results in Healthcare, by Mark Sidote
    • Is Configuration Management Really that Important?, by Jacqueline L. Shipwash
    • Smart Police Station, Dubai Police-UAE: Case Study, By: Jorge J. Román
    • Quality Management Journal Previews Volume 26, Issue 2, Executive Briefs
    • Book Review: Process Improvement Using Data, By Dan Zalewski
    • The Best of Coach’s Corner Supporting my Team!, By J.R. McGee

    Click here to download the Quality Management Forum

    Join the Linkedin group of the Organizational Excellence Technical Committee (OETC) – ASQ Quality Management Division (QMD) and get the latest update on Business Excellence from around the world.


  2. Alpha to Omega of Customer Service Management

    April 14, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Article contributed by Dr. Almas Tazein, BPIR.com Limited

    “People think of loyalty as a customer for a lifetime, but it’s really much simpler than that.
    It’s about the next time, every time.” – Shep Hyken.

    A sensitive situation where a customer felt respected and understood, where his grievance was handled with ultimate finesse, or a split-second of arrogance – these can be the deal-breakers or makers. How they are handled as an organisation, with all the customer service jargons, SOPs and protocols at our disposal is crucial. Sometimes, there is no policy to lean on, because the state of affairs is so novel and alien. Someplace else, we need to bypass that dogmatic company rule and consider an alternative solution, for the better, and a policy change emerges. The core values of service delivery define refined customer service.

    There are two possibilities in the case of a satisfied customer: He gives a 7/10 to the overall experience of the services in an ABC company, where all his product and service needs were met. That same customer after a few months gives a 9/10 for the same criteria. The only difference this time was, he had a complaint, and his grievance was addressed to his utmost satisfaction. This is the concept of service recovery paradox.

    What do we do to seize this disguised opportunity in a situation similar to the latter?

    Customer service transcends the frontline of the organisation – from the CEO at the top management, to the task workers at the bottom, it is a reflection of the principles and culture of an organisation – as a whole, where everyone speaks one language – unsurpassed customer service ethics.

    It is alarming to know that,
    441 billion is lost by US companies each year due to poor customer service.
    82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service.
    79% of high-income households avoid vendors for 2+ years after a bad customer experience, and
    66% of customers switch companies due to poor service.

    Here is a pragmatic guide to some of most relevant Best Practice Reports that BPIR.com has published in the customer service management domain.

    Index of Best Practice Reports – Includes new and old (but still relevant ) reports
    1Customer Service Training
    2Customer Service Excellence
    3Customer Satisfaction Management
    4Customer Complaint Resolution 2
    5Customer Complaints Resolution
    6Call Centre Representatives
    7Customer Support and Service
    8Customer Satisfaction Surveys
    9Emotional Intelligence
    10Relationship Management

    1. Customer Service Training
    There are essentially two types of training in the provision of customer service. The first refers to developing traits or characteristics such as professionalism, politeness, promptness, personalisation, enthusiasm or friendliness. The second refers to developing technical knowledge or know-how, depending on the products or services offered. To be a good customer service agent, you need to have the characteristics and the technical ability to solve problems and enhance the customer experience.

    Customers are the reason businesses exist and flourish. Developing a service-orientated culture helps prevent serious consequences like losing customers forever, putting the survival of the company at risk, law suits, and also giving a poor image of the company – nationally and internationally.

    80% of businesses believe that they already deliver high-quality customer service, but only 8% of their customers agree. Here are the 100 Customer Service Statistics You Need To Know.

    2. Customer Service Excellence
    Poor service quality leads to distrust. A 2011 Consumer Reports Survey found that:

    • 65% of respondents were “tremendously annoyed” by rude salespeople
    • 64% had left a store in the previous 12 months because of poor service
    • 71% were extremely irritated when they couldn’t reach a human on the phone
    • 67% hung up the phone without getting their issue resolved.

    3. Customer Satisfaction Management
    Customers expect organisations to serve them consistently by: asking them what they need, telling them what the organisation will do for them—and when it will be done, doing what needs to be done on time, and, telling them what has actually been done, and when it was done.

    4. Customer Complaint Resolution 2

    They say angry customers are good for business. “Original research executed by TARP (Technical Assistance Research Programs – Harvard) projectable to the U.S. population shows the following for consumers who experienced a problem with a potential financial loss of more than $100: 9% of those who did not articulate the problem remained brand loyal; 19% of those who articulated the problem but were not satisfied remained brand loyal; 54% of those who articulated the problem and were satisfied remained brand loyal.

    5. Customer Complaints Resolution

    There are different customer resolution scenarios that one can be experience – How to tell customers you need some time to resolve their issue? What to say when you can’t resolve the issue? How to (discreetly) let a customer know it is their mistake (the deal-breaker)? How to respond to a customer who is complaining in a language you don’t understand?

    A customer complaints resolution process is a formal procedure to log, investigate, and resolve any customer dissatisfaction or problems. The overarching aim of such a process is to turn around a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied one.

    6. Call Centre Representatives
    The role of the Customer Services Representatives (CSR) is increasingly requiring a wide skill set e.g. oral, written, product knowledge, sales, pricing, and technology skills along with an ability to handle stressful situations when dealing with customers. Jeffries & Sells (2004) measured the following correlation between customer satisfaction and CSR skills:

    • Knowledge 95% correlation
    • Accuracy 90%
    • Communicating 60%
    • Attitude 50%
    • Availability of Services 50%
    • Promptness 36%
    • Personalised Services 20%

    7. Customer Support and Service

    Customer support includes assistance in planning, installation, training, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and disposal of a product. Ongoing company profitability is related to how customers perceive the levels of support and service offered by an organisation. It has been predicted that the prioritization of CSS investments will be a major component relating to organisational growth over the next few years.

    The economics relating to the provision of CSS i.e. the balancing of levels of service against the cost of provision is a matter of key importance requiring company-wide coordination along with the integration of MIS and communications systems.

    John Wookey (2003) senior vice president, applications development, of Oracle Corporation wrote, the optimum solution for CSS is to employ a single customer model across an enterprise and to use collaborative CRM technologies which can collect and synchronize data from multiple knowledge sources.

    8. Customer Satisfaction Surveys

    A survey is designed to obtain customer feedback on satisfaction with an organisation’s products and/or services, and its major motive is to build a brand.

    Craig Bailey (2002) founder of Customer Centricity (a customer relationship consulting company) notes “Make no mistake, business is about numbers. In my opinion, there are two sets of numbers that every company must track and manage: the financials and customer satisfactions levels. If executives of a corporation only care about the financial indicators, the company will lose sight of their source of revenue – the customer”.

    9. Emotional Intelligence

    We have been led to believe that our IQ is the best measure of human potential. In the past 10 years, however, researchers have found that this isn’t necessarily the case and that a person’s emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) in actuality, is a greater predictor of success in life and work. EQ can have more explicit applications in the conflict resolution and customer service domains. Unlike IQ, EQ can be developed and worked upon.

    Success stories: U.S Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) recognised that many of its personnel required high components of EI to effectively fulfil their roles within the organisation. Developing partnerships, collaboration, and working with elected officials/citizens required empathy, flexibility, impulse control, and non-confrontational relationships. MAG implemented an EI assessment, training, and coaching program that was made available to all staff on a voluntary basis.

    10. Relationship Management

    Research has found a 5% increase in customer retention boosts lifetime customer profits by 50% on average across multiple industries, as well as a boost of up to 90% within specific industries such as insurance (Bain & Company).

    Companies that have mastered customer relationship strategies have the most successful Customer-relationship management (CRM) programs. For example, Capital One Financial Corporation, a US credit card issuer, invested heavily in a CRM programme intended to nurture its customers and ensure delivery of the right product at the right time to the right customer. The programme was so successful that it even allowed the company to deliver products that customers were not aware they needed. As a result, the company went from start-up in 1995 to industry leadership in just five years. (Ragins & Greco, 2003).

    All references in this article can be found in the relevant Best Practice Reports except for the following:

    – “The story behind successful CRM – Bain & Company”. www.bain.com. Retrieved 23 November 2015.

    To join BPIR.com and support our research, simply click here, or to find out more about membership, email membership@bpir.com. BPIR.com publishes a new best practice report every month with over 100 available to members.

  3. South African Quality Institutes latest news

    March 28, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    South African Quality Institute (SAQI) http://www.saqi.co.za is the national body that co-ordinates the Quality effort in South Africa. Their monthly newsletter is an excellent source of information to keep up with the latest quality issues in South Africa.


    • Let’s Talk About the Term ‘Quality’, By David Hoyle
    • SAQI at NAACAM 2019, By Paul Harding
    • Construction Quality – Success Factors – Part 4 – Defining Quality Control Mechanisms, By Jaco Roets
    • Amendments To The Competition Act May Further Curtail Foreign Investment Appetite, By Terrance M. Booysen and Lesley Morphet
    • Good listening leads to achievement, By Dr Richard Hayward

    Click here to download this newsletter.








  4. Performance Excellence Conference by New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation

    March 26, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited
    Article contributed by Saad Ghafoor, PhD Student COER, and Dr Robin Mann. Head, COER

    The New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation NZBEF organized the Performance Excellence Conference on 19th and 20th March 2019. The conference was held in the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Auckland with speakers and participants from various parts of New Zealand and from overseas. The conference promised to be a very exciting meet-up for business excellence professionals and enthusiasts. The New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) showed particular interest in the conference with a large number of NZDF staff attending the conference.
    The participants of the conference were able to learn about global business excellence practices and make sense around how adopting business excellence would help their organisations improve. Speakers from Australia, Canada, Chile, and New Zealand educated the audience about the present state of business excellence in their respective areas of responsibilities and the challenges that organisations are experiencing by ignoring it. The conference was very educational for those that were new to the idea of business excellence.


    The two-day conference was inaugurated by Beryl Oldham, NZBEF Board Chair with appreciation towards all the participants and speakers of the conference.


    The conference was mediated by Joe Hollander – Master of Ceremonies during the presentations and discussions/ question answer sessions that followed them.


    Dr. Robin Mann of the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) Ltd delivered a presentation on the Importance and Health of the Business Excellence Movement Worldwide.


    The presentation was enriched with a brief presentation on the project Excellence Without Borders by Saad Ghafoor and some of its initial findings. Other domestic/ New Zealand speakers were Bernard Powell, Carew Hatherley, Anthony Stephenson, Keith Phillips and Michael Voss. The international speakers were Dawn Ringrose from Canada, Jorge Roman from Chile, Ravi Fernando, Mike Mclean, and Dianne Gibert from Australia.


    A panel discussion on Performance Excellence, Business Excellence and Organisational Excellence Framework was carried out with Michael Voss, Jorge Roman, Robin Mann, Ravi Fernando, Dawn Ringrose and Mike McLean.


    The panelists discussed the operational challenges for adopting business excellence. The participants took particular interest in this discussion and asked questions relating to their organizations’ day-to-day business. Most of the questions from the attendees were around how they can localize the practices or principles of business excellence such that they are applicable to the New Zealand work environment.
    The conference ended with a clear commitment by the NZBEF and its participants that the focus on excellence needs to be re-energised otherwise NZ Inc would lose its international competitiveness against other countries where business excellence has become the norm. As such the NZBEF is calling for New Zealand organisations to join its foundation with a new website just launched.
    The BPIR.com is supporting NZBEF and the worldwide focus on excellence. Our new series of 50+ Best Practice Reports will be covering one by one all the criteria items of Business Excellence Models – thus providing the building blocks towards world-class performance.
    To start this off we have published a Best Practice Report on Business Excellence to provide an overview of what it is and share its current status. If you or your organization are striving for a destination of excellence consider supporting our research by joining the BPIR.com today.

  5. Spotlight on 2018 Baldrige Award Recipient Leaders: Tri County Tech’s Lindel Fields

    March 11, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Bailey

    Lindel Fields, superintendent and CEO of 2018 Baldrige Award recipient Tri County Tech (TCT), knew when he drafted his Vision 2020 that it was a fearless and bold initiative. His goal was to establish Tri County as a premier U.S. education institution. In April, when he takes the stage at the 31st annual Quest for Excellence© conference to celebrate TCT as a U.S. role-model organization in the education sector, he will know that this goal has been achieved.In the following interview, Fields describes his upcoming leadership presentation at the Quest conference and what was behind the technology center’s journey of continuous improvement on behalf of its students, a journey that has culminated, for the moment, with winning the Baldrige Award.

    How do you feel about this great achievement, and how did your employees react when they heard the news of winning the award?
    It’s very exciting, and it’s a very emotional experience for our employees who have worked on our Baldrige journey of improvement for 13 years. Those of us who are close to Baldrige know the magnitude of it.

    This is also a great moment of pride not just for our employees but for our students. We didn’t quite know the type of impact that Tri County Tech winning the Baldrige Award would have on the students, but there has been an emotional response, including tears, from them as well. I didn’t expect that.

    Please gives us a sense of what your leadership presentation will be about.
    The main theme is to share how using the Baldrige framework has led to a lot of learning for us, and I will share five mantras that we’ve discovered on our journey. Here are two samples: “When you try to be everything to everybody, you can’t be anything to anybody” and “Spend Tri County money like it’s your grandmother’s social security.” All five mantras give you a sense of our leadership philosophy. The presentation will also talk about the importance of patience and perseverance.

    How has the Baldrige Excellence Framework contributed to your organization’s success?
    Baldrige is systemic at our organization. We contribute everything we do to the framework and its Criteria. It’s about being committed to the entire process, not just to parts of it. As a result, we can point to a couple of things that we didn’t expect as a result of using the Criteria. We have had significant efficiencies in business operations including our ability to eliminate dependency on federal funding. Results have also led to more process and operational consistency and one of the highest completion and retention rates for students at a public education institution in the United States.

    Why do you think organizations in your sector could benefit from using the Baldrige framework?
    Education is about providing opportunities for students who entrust us with their hopes and dreams. And when you have that kind of responsibility, your ability to do that for the masses is dependent upon subscribing to something bigger than you can accomplish alone. It’s like a workout regimen. An Olympic athlete would not train alone. He or she would hire a coach and subscribe to a world-class regimen or methodology. When an organization subscribes the world-class methodology available in the Baldrige framework, it can achieve world-class results.