Quality Services

The following text was extracted from the book “The Credit Union World”, by Wendell Fountain, emphasizing the significance of Quality in service provision and its basic components.

“High-quality member service is not difficult to deliver. It depends on the constraints which the employee has to operate within; those are usually imposed by management, and the attitude of the employee.

Attitude is one thing of which an employee has control. No one can take away a positive attitude; a person must be willing to give it up. If employees are taught and encouraged to follow the fundamentals, it is difficult to fall short in the member relationship management process. So much depends on training and the willingness of the trainee to internalize the significance of such a simple method. The better the training the more likely that service will be delivered properly. Members and other consumers have become so accustomed to mediocrity that excellent service is perceived to be exceptional, consumers get excited.

What credit unionists, at all levels, should want are excited members because of excellent service. Once excellent service becomes an embedded cultural process, members expect nothing less and that should be the goal of all credit union leaders and managers.

If credit unions just practice the fundamentals, by delivering excellent service, member relationship management should be a given.”

An interesting point presented in this very few lines. Basically, half the process is under influence of external factors, or physical constraints, and half is influenced by internal factors, mainly positive attitude.

I totally agree with it.

Given that a service is an intangible commodity, like computer software, what if we extrapolate this concept to software products and services?

A software program is like a living creature, it grows throw unpredictable paths while users interact with it, adding personal experience to the user interface. Some operations have to defend themselves from end-user “creativity” while others explore it as a potential value generator. So, the positive attitude might not be a matter of intelligence, sophistication or operational procedures, but also good and structured programming, well designed interfaces, rational layouts, communication and a few other nudges.

Software products has technological considerations like platform update or even structural upgrade of installed base– database, servers, networks, middleware, packages, clients, …,– as technology itself is a never ended product because Evolution never reach an end.

Add the fact that businesses are complex routines in most of the cases.
The divide to conquer approach doesn’t make thing easier, it only make things possible. For machines all things are mathematical operations, but for human intelligence, decode this assumptions in machine language is quite a challenge.

It might look that the comparison between quality service for the financial market and software products wasn’t so clear, but the point here is that complex things are derived from single activities, and this activities are basically a combination of physical constraints and positive attitude, for the best cases.




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