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Outstanding customer care, whether internal or external, is simply good business and providing excellent service to external customers is dependent upon effective internal customer service. Our activities help participants understand the importance of excellent communication and a shared vision to enable everyone to work cooperatively and productively together to achieve common goals.

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Customer Service - Ten Quality Statements

Article Overview:
This article from Martin Haworth looks at the importance of measuring where you are as an organisation, and the importance of asking meaningful questions that look beneath the service of customer service.

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Article Overview:
This article from Martin Haworth looks at the importance of measuring where you are as an organisation, and the importance of asking meaningful questions that look beneath the service of customer service.

Opening Words:
It might sound quick and simple to say how well your business does in satisfying its customers. Hearing such as:

"We're increasing our turnover by 14% year to date"

"Our customer complaints are now less than 4% of our transactions"

...might sound like music to your ears, but that's just the time you need to be very careful.

A regular measurement of where you are as an organisation, not depending on some of the easy-to-fake figures, might just make the difference in how well you are doing now, and into the future.

Useful Reading For:
Managers involved in measuring customer service.

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Help, I am the New HR Director. Now what?

Article Overview:
This excellent article from Joe Espana, considers the difficulties faced when someone is appointed to the role of HR Director. Joe argues that they have approximately 90 days in which to make an impact, and suggests different strategies for dealing with three different scenarios that might exist within the organisation.

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Article Overview:
This excellent article from Joe Espana, considers the difficulties faced when someone is appointed to the role of HR Director. Joe argues that they have approximately 90 days in which to make an impact, and suggests different strategies for dealing with three different scenarios that might exist within the organisation.

Opening Words:
You've made it. What you always wanted to achieve; a senior HR role with a seemingly dynamic company, a CEO who gives every indication that he is on your side and will listen, and a real challenge that will allow you to make full use of your talents. And then the realisation of what you've taken on really hits. A friend of mine once describe getting his new HR Director role like this: His challenges felt at first like having to climb Mount Everest and being at base camp. Two months into the job he was beginning to realise that what he had taken on was definitely the summit of Mount Everest, but he now realised that far from being at base camp he was actually at Heathrow waiting for his delayed flight to Kathmandu - and, oh by the way, he'd forgotten to pack the oxygen needed for the climb.

The issue for many senior appointees in these sorts of circumstances is knowing exactly where to start. The requirements of an organisation in which everything seems important and urgent needs careful balancing. And on top of that, there is the added pressure of having to demonstrate value and contribution as soon as possible. By any measure, the new HR Director has approximately 90 days to show that he or she was a sound recruitment decision. The key issue, therefore, is to work out where the biggest return for effort exists.

Useful Reading For:
Management involved in HR.

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Inside Quality Service

Article Overview
In this article, Diane Bailey looks at the importance of Internal Customer Care and looks at the benefits of an internal service culture to the organisation, its employees and its customers.

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Article Overview
In this article, Diane Bailey looks at the importance of Internal Customer Care and looks at the benefits of an internal service culture to the organisation, its employees and its customers.

Opening Words:
In the late 1980s, management specialist John Humble worked in conjunction with Management Centre Europe on a survey of how managers in Europe viewed the 'service' ethic. In his introduction to the report, Humble stressed that ‘service', in fact, was not something which referred only to external customers. 'Service' is something which is also relevant to colleagues within the organisation – the internal customers. The detail of the service will obviously differ, the report suggested, but the need is the same.

Of the senior managers who took part in the survey (1055, biased towards larger, more forward-thinking companies), 78% saw improving quality and service as the way to competitive success; 85% felt that providing a superior service was one of their key responsibilities.

Where British Managers differ from Europe perhaps is that, in general, much less work has been done in the UK to improve the level of service and care offered to the 'internal' customer, i.e., the people who work within an organisation in other departments or sections, or in branches and units geographically dispersed from the centre...

Useful Reading For:
Anyone attending training related to internal customer care or involved in creating a service culture within an organisation.

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Playing To Your Personal Strengths

Article Overview:
This interesting article from Sheila Williams, looks at personal conflict in the workplace and looks at how our preferred behaviours can bring us into conflict with others who have different preferences.

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Article Overview:
This interesting article from Sheila Williams, looks at personal conflict in the workplace and looks at how our preferred behaviours can bring us into conflict with others who have different preferences.

Opening Words:
In a week of battling against the winter elements I have also been exploring conflict of a different nature – person to person. The type of interpersonal conflict that can for no apparent reason (at least to the warring parties), spring up in the workplace. Part of this has led to an exploration of how we deploy our personal strengths and whether over-use of these, in certain circumstances, can tip them over into becoming weaknesses.

We develop behaviours that, when used to good effect, over time, become our preferred way of doing things. We consider them as our personal strengths. However, the more we use them and the more success we have with their use then the more we can slip into auto-pilot mode, with an expectation that their use will always produce success. In this way, we sometimes overlook the fact that using a particular personal strength may be inappropriate to the context or situation in which we find ourselves.

Useful Reading For:
Line managers and trainers.

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The Home Improver - Understanding Kaizen

Article Overview:
In this interesting article, Carlo Scodanibbio explains the concept of Kaizen, the process of continuous improvement that originated in Japan.

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Article Overview:
In this interesting article, Carlo Scodanibbio explains the concept of Kaizen, the process of continuous improvement that originated in Japan.

Opening Words:
If you consider your house more than just a shelter and a place in which you eat and sleep, in other words if you consider your house a "home", a cosy, warm nest for you and your family, you will probably take great care of it and will gladly dedicate time, effort and money to making it even warmer, cosier, more functional and better looking. You will not just maintain it in its present state but you will try to render it better and better. You will renew plumbing and electrics in due time, paint or polish doors and windows regularly, add new pieces of furniture or replace some unsuited ones. You will shop around to find some nice pieces of soft furnishing, or wall pictures, or antiques. You will place flowerpots and ornamental plants here and there. If you really love your home, this will be an endless process.

The process you are following with your house is a Kaizen process. The Japanese word Kaizen means "step-by-step, continuous improvement”.

Useful Reading For:
Managers and those responsible for continuous improvement.

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