Bringing Service Standards to Life

Bringing Service Standards to Life

Julie Kwan (Hitachi Consulting, USA), Stephanie Clark (Learn on Demand, USA) and Steven W. Villachica (Boise State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8356-1.ch049
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This case study describes the efforts of performance consultants to improve the extent to which staff and volunteers at a nonprofit agency performed according to their customer service standards. After providing background information about the organization and its service standards, the case study describes the existing performance gap regarding the standards and the consultants' response to the client's initial request for training. The case study describes the performance analysis the consultants conducted, including the gap analysis, organizational analysis, environmental analysis, and cause analysis. The case study also describes the task analysis that the consultants conducted using the critical incident technique. The case study concludes with a description of how the consultants created the resulting training, and the effect of the training on the sponsoring organization.
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Setting The Stage

Recently, the Foundation’s international leadership directed all Den executive directors to push for excellence by improving customer service and fostering appropriate conduct by Den staff and volunteers. Daniel met with Kaitlyn and Sarah to discuss this directive and plan how they might fulfill it within their Den. Collaborating with key staff and volunteers, they developed a list of service standards for the Den. These standards provided staff and volunteers with a framework for appropriate conduct and engagement with guests and each other in this stressful environment. The standards consisted of behavioral statements grouped into four categories: Professional, Respectful, Compassionate, and Helpful. Table 1 provides examples of corresponding behavioral statements within each category of the service standards.

Table 1.
Service standard categories and behavioral statements
CategoryExample Behavioral Statements
Professional• We respond to questions and/or concerns in a prompt and courteous manner.
• We respect, support, and encourage each other, and work cooperatively as members of a team.
Respectful• We protect our families’ need to rest, relax, and sleep at any/all hours of the day.
• When it is necessary to enter a guest’s room, we respect the family’s belongings and privacy. We give them prior notice before entering.
Compassionate• We support and encourage guests, recognize when someone is in need of help, and assist appropriately.
• We are open-minded, non-judgmental, and understanding of our families.
Helpful• We are proactive and anticipate families’ needs.
• We provide a comfortable, safe, and reassuring environment 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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