Quality - Management - Moments of truth

A peculiarity of the model of the management Service is a new approach to the nature of the product and, at the same time, how employees work. This is the foundation of the concept of moments of truth.
The moment of truth is any situation in which the citizen-user contacts any aspect of the organization and gets an impression on the quality of their management. The Spanish expression Moment of Truth, which has its origin in the bullfight, indicates the final moment in which the matador and the bull face, alone.
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It is a crucial episode and must be resolved somehow. Jan Carlzon of SAS popularized the term with statements such as: "We have more than 50.000 moments of truth per day." 
Of course, we would like to use the term without its allusions to confrontation, to suggest that the citizen and the person who provides the service get in contact in many critical episodes, and that the user forms their impression about the quality of the service. in such encounters. Collectively, all of them make up the general image of the company's service.
We can take this form of expression - "moment of truth" - and make it a very literal and concrete part of a concept that includes the provision and management from service. Focusing our attention not on job and task descriptions, but on moments of truth, we will help the public body employee to have a more concrete vision of their contribution to citizen satisfaction. We can also help the manager to think more clearly about the quality of service: it is excellence in moments of truth that is defined within the user's frame of reference.

The philosophy of service management

It suggests that everyone has something to contribute to ensure that the citizen is satisfied with the service. There is no doubt that anyone who has direct contact with the user must responsibly see things from their perspective, and do everything in their power to take care of their needs. But everyone else should also have the customer in mind. Within the philosophy of service management, the entire organization must function as a large department of management for the benefit of citizens / users / beneficiaries or taxpayer.
The concept of management by results, it tries to develop a culture that turns the fact of offering an excellent service to the citizen into a mission recognized by all the members of the organization, including the managers. First, it is the responsibility of senior officials to define the mission of the organization and specify the necessary strategies so that the quality of service is the key element of the operation of the institution.
Once senior management is prepared to understand these concepts and to contribute to the organization's mission, they will begin to sensitize operational staff towards better citizen care. Instead of control When performing service, managers must provide staff with the guidelines and support necessary to carry out an effective task.
If you take the concept of moments of truth literally and concretely, you forget about organizational jobs, tasks, structures, and procedures and start thinking in terms of results. You can immediately start taking an inventory of the moments of truth that your customers experience as your operational staff deliver the service. Once you know what these moments of truth are, you can analyze them from the point of view of quality.
You can start to improve those that need improvement and look for ways to improve them. It should be noted that a moment of truth is, in itself, neither positive nor negative. What counts is the result of the moment of truth. Was the citizen satisfied with the service provided? Was the receptionist friendly or unfriendly? Was the service provided on time or was it delayed? If any of this failed, how did the staff give explanations to the users? Don't forget that not all moments of truth involve direct interaction between employees and users.
There may be other moments of truth besides those mentioned. When the citizen observes a notice of his company (I suggest: he has a contact with the institutional image of the organization): this is a moment of truth, it produces some kind of impression: For the client, (I suggest placing two points and continuing directly with receiving) receiving an invoice or a summary in the mail, listening to a voice recorded on the phone, opening a package that arrived at your home: these are all elements that lead to an impression of the service provided. The sum total of all possible moments of truth that your users / beneficiaries experience, whether people intervene or not, constitute the image of your service.
As you view this new perspective on your service in terms of moments of truth, such as episodes that offer perishable opportunities to offer an impression of service quality, it becomes obvious that management does not control quality. Managers cannot be in all the moments of truth to supervise them and make sure that employees do them properly.
This means that they have no other alternative (I suggest: Therefore the employee is trusted) than to trust the people who participate in moments of truth. In fact, at those times they are the managers; they are responsible for the moments of truth.
This is a challenging concept: Somehow, every employee who provides a service is a manager. Each of them controls the outcome of the moment of truth, having control over their own behavior with the citizen. If the person providing the service is apathetic, unpleasant, unfriendly, distant cold or uncooperative, their moments of truth will be a failure.
On the other hand, if you are lively, pleasant, warm, friendly and cooperative and take care to solve a problem, your moments of truth will stand out, and the user will tend to generalize these experiences with respect to the entire organization. Perhaps it is a scary prospect for some managers: the army of ants is the boss.

Critical moments of truth

Not all moments of truth are the same. In a typical high-level customer contact company, there may be over a hundred different types of moments of truth, but generally only a few of them will have a critical impact on user perceptions.
These critical moments of truth require special attention and dedication. Managers cannot be everywhere at once, so they need to choose carefully what aspects of the operation they have. a greater potential impact, whether positive or negative, on the satisfaction of citizens and on their intention to make a new purchase. They must control these special aspects of the product and help staff to master them effectively.

Service Cycles. "Internal Customer Service" - Karl Albrecht

The next step in the service management reasoning process is realizing that moments of truth are not unique but occur in groups or ensembles. A citizen does not call us and says: "I would like to buy a moment of truth, please." What actually happens is that the latter decides to do business with his organization (I suggest: he needs to carry out a procedure, etc.) and goes through a series of moments of truth, which are part of an experience related to the entire service or cycle of service.
A service cycle is a continuous chain of events that you go through as you experience service. This is the natural and unconscious model that remains in your mind (I suggest in the citizen's perception) and perhaps has nothing in common with the organization's "technical" approach.
It is possible that you are willing to think about your service taking into account only the departments and specialties of your organization that must participate to provide the service. But rarely does the citizen think in terms of departments or specialties. Usually, you just think that you have a need and that you must act to meet it. You have one goal in mind: I want a place to keep my money, I want a good meal in a pleasant place, I want to have a dental cleaning, I want to see with more definition, I want to get to the city in time for the wedding, I want my car works correctly again (I suggest I want to obtain the renewal of the driver's license, process a change of DNI at the address, register my son in a public school, take an appointment in a Health Unit).
It is very common to see how service organizations, because of the way they are organized, make promises that are false. 
It is difficult for the organization to react to the customer's need from another perspective than that of its internal structure, particularly if the citizen presents an unusual or complicated problem or a need other than routine, for which the organization does not have with its "system". Potential service opportunities are more likely to have been lost because people were unable to access someone to help them solve their problem, than for any other reason.
Figure 1: The service cycle

It may interest you:  Beyond Service: the business of Experiences
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The service cycle concept helps people offer assistance to citizens, allowing them to reorganize the mental images of what is happening.
The figure above graphically illustrates the duty cycle.
The basic construction of the service is no longer the task of the employee, but now becomes the moment of truth that he himself controls. The employee no longer manufactures the product, but is part of it. Quality is no longer a satisfactory execution of the assigned task, but is now defined as the result of the moment of truth.
Like the moment of truth concept, the service cycle is a powerful idea to help service personnel change their views and view citizens as citizens view them. Analysis and improvement of service cycles are basic elements of the management process of service management.
The Service Triangle plays a fundamental role in the analysis of the success factors that help implement a service initiative in any type of organization.
Virtually all the leading service organizations we know of have three main characteristics in the corresponding measures. These three key success factors are the three vertices of the service triangle:
  1. A vision or strategy for the service.
  2. Customer-oriented operational staff.
  3. Systems based on friendly customer service.
The service triangle is a way of diagramming the interaction between these three basic elements, which must work together to maintain a high level of quality service.
Figure 2: The service triangle
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A well-conceived strategy: The organizations that stand out have discovered, invented or developed a unifying idea of ​​what they do. This service concept - or service strategy - directs the attention of the company's people towards the true priorities of the client. This guiding concept adapts to everything that people do. It becomes a military order, a kind of gospel and the core of the message to be conveyed to the customer.
Customer-oriented operational staff. In some way, the managers of these organizations have helped and encouraged the people who provide the service to focus on the customer's needs. An efficient person from the operational line is capable of adapting to the current situation of the client, their state of mind and their needs, as a result of a high level of response capacity, attention and desire to help that places the service in one of superior level in the mind of the citizen and that makes him spread the good service received among other people.
User friendly systems. The shipping system that supports service personnel has been designed for the convenience of the user, and not for the convenience of the organization. Communication facilities, plans, procedures, methods and processes tell the citizen: "All of this is here to meet your needs."
These three factors - a clear service strategy, customer-oriented operational staff, and user-friendly systems - are relatively simple and easy to understand concepts, but putting them into practice is a monumental task, particularly in large organizations. .
Most of the rest of the Service America book deals with what we have discovered in relation to the implementation of service management, actively trying to interrelate these three factors.
Service management is an innovative concept. It is not a set of common places, truisms or clichés that "the user is always right". It is a unified approach to running a service organization that focuses on the moments of truth that make up all customer contact. Success in a service business no longer resides solely in running the organization but in directing the user experience with the organization.
Finally, all the precepts of service management revolve around a service culture, which implies a climate, an environment or a work context, whatever you want to call it, which prioritizes the quality of service within an organization and which encourages all its members to achieve that end. In fact, a service culture is the means to obtain an excellent level of service and, at the same time, the evidence of this achievement.

The Internal Client 

The internal customer is that member of the organization, who receives the result of a previous process, carried out in the same organization, which we can conceive of as consisting of an internal network of suppliers and customers. I am a supplier from whom you receive the product of my work, and a client from whom you send me the product of yours.
Every person intervenes in a process that generates results (products or services), which are delivered to a user. If it is in the same organization (internal customer), it will use the products resulting from the previous process as input (resources) for its own process. In turn, the latter will prepare the appropriate outputs (products) that will be used by another internal customer, or that will reach the market, aimed at external customers.
The idea of ​​Quality, expressed previously, is applicable in this internal supplier-customer scheme (also called the Deming chain). Therefore, the internal supplier must satisfy the needs of its client, just as the organization must satisfy its external users.
Obviously, it is necessary that the quality along a chain be uniform and maximum at the same time since, otherwise, fluctuations and breaks in the quality of the result will occur. It is enough for one link to fail, so that the chain "breaks" and the objectives are not achieved.
From this perspective, the longer the chain has, the more extensive it is, the less likely it is to achieve quality at the end of the chain, to satisfy the customer at the last link. This is because the
total probability of success (Pt) is equal to the product of the partial probabilities of success:
Pt = p1 x p2 x ……… x pn
We have, then, a powerful argument to defend the planning and development of an organizational design that allows reducing the length of the different processes that are carried out, that is, of the different supplier-client chains.
The identification of who are suppliers and customers, what they should contribute and receive (material, information, documents, instructions, ...) and how, respectively, are basic elements to achieve quality. It is necessary to implement the appropriate measures that allow the internal customer to express their needs, so that the characteristics that the product delivered by the supplier must have are well defined. Inbound and outbound requirements of the supplier and customer processes must match for the chain to function properly. On the other hand, it will be necessary to obtain the appropriate feedback from the client process to make the pertinent modifications.

Quality in the services. "Administration and quality control" - Evans and Lindsay.

A service has been defined as “a social event that occurs in direct contact between users and representatives of the service organization”. A service could be as simple as handling a complaint, or as complex as a home mortgage. Many organizations are purely of service; Its products are intangible, examples that would include both a law firm, whose product is legal advice, and a healthcare facility, whose product is wellness and better health. Service organizations include all non-manufacturing organizations except industries such as agriculture, mining, and construction.
The quality of the service includes both the central services and the facilitation services. For example, all banks provide checking account services.
A checking account is a central service product, and all banks can be expected to provide accurate reports on those accounts. In addition, many banks provide services such as ATMs, quick check deposit approval, and 24-hour telephone access to account information.
These represent facilitation services and increase the value of the core service given to the client. Also, businesses that produce tangible goods provide facilitation services, and their value to the customer may even exceed the value of the company's core products. For example, a restaurant Fast food can produce tangible goods in the form of hamburgers and fries, which are its main products. However, perhaps the hallmark of the restaurant could be the speed and friendliness of its service.
We tend to classify these organizations as service organizations (rather than manufacturing organizations) as they compete primarily on the basis of service. Similarly, service is a key element in many traditional manufacturing companies. For example, a manufacturer of computer equipment can provide extensive maintenance and consultation service, which may be more important to the customer than the core product.
The American Management Association estimates that the average organization loses 35% of its users each year, and that approximately two-thirds of these losses are due to poor customer service. Furthermore, the cost of acquiring new users is much higher than that associated with their conservation. Organizations with long-standing loyal customers may perform better financially than competitors with higher customer turnover.

Services as a production system.

Deming's vision of a production system can be applied to service organizations as well as to manufacturing organizations. The following graph applies Deming's model to the higher education system:
The definitions of quality that are applicable to manufactured products are equally applicable to service products. The very nature of the service implies that it must respond to the needs of the client; that is, the service must "meet or exceed the expectations of the customer." These expectations should be translated into performance standards and specifications, similar to the compliance standards that guide manufacturing activities. For example, you should expect from a sanatorium that a patient who arrives with a simple fracture at ten in the morning, is attended on the spot, is evaluated in the course of the next hour and leaves in a cast - if applicable - before noon .
In an exclusive restaurant one could wait 10 to 15 minutes between one dish and the next, and one could even consider the service as bad if the time between dishes is too short.
Production of services differs from manufacturing in many ways, and these differences have important implications for quality management.
The most critical differences are described here:
q  User needs and performance standards are often difficult to identify and measure, primarily because users define them and each is different is different. The services have unique type dimensions:
o   Time: How long should a customer expect the service and its termination?
o   Opportunity Will the results of the study be delivered at the promised time?
o   Totality Have all the requested analyzes been carried out?
o   Courtesy Do the contact staff greet each of the client-patients?
o   Consistency Is the service provided in the same way to each user?
o   Accessibility and convenience Is it easy to get the service?
o   Accuracy Is the service performed correctly the first time?
o Sensitivity Can service personnel react quickly to unexpected problems?
In short, production of services typically requires a higher degree of customization than manufacturing. Doctors, lawyers, security agents and service employees must tailor their individual user services.
q  The result of many service systems is intangible, while manufacturing produces tangible and visible products. The quality of the workmanship can be judged against firm design specifications (for example, the depth of cut should be 0.125 inches), but the quality of the service can only be judged against subjective and nebulous past expectations and experiences on the part of the customer. (What is considered a good "sales experience"?) The user can also "hold and hold" a manufactured product, but can only remember one service. Manufactured goods can be returned or replaced by the manufacturer, but poor service can only be followed by apologies and compensation.
q  Services are produced and consumed simultaneously, while manufactured goods are produced before consumption. In addition, many services must be performed according to customer demand, so it is not possible to store services, nor can they be subject to inventory, nor inspected before delivery, in a similar way as it is done with manufactured goods, for what should be paid a lot of attention in the training and in incorporating the quality in the service, as a way to assure the quality.
q  Users are often an active part of the service process and are present as the service occurs, while manufacturing is done away from the customer. For example, customers at a fast-service restaurant place their own orders, bring the food to their table, and are expected to leave it clean once they've finished eating.
q  Services are generally labor intensive, while manufacturing is more capital intensive. The quality of human interaction is a vital factor for services that involve human contact. For example, the quality of hospital care will depend greatly on the interaction between patients, illness, doctors, and other medical personnel.

Quality components in the service system.

The differences between organizations manufacturing and the service create specific challenges to manage quality. Many service organizations such as airlines, banks, and hotels have well-developed quality assurance systems. However, most are based on some analogy to manufacturing, and are therefore more product-oriented than service-oriented.
For example, a hotel quality assurance system may be limited to technical standards such as which components of a hotel room define it as properly prepared. Standards for intangible quality characteristics are difficult to set. Often they must be defined in a subjective way and then see if they reach levels of satisfaction. Given that employee performance and behavior, as well as speed of service transactions, are the most powerful perceived determinants of service quality, the two key components of service system quality are employees and technology. of the information.
Staff. Users evaluate a service mainly based on the quality of human contact.
Researchers have repeatedly shown that when a service employee has high job satisfaction, user satisfaction is also high, and when he has low job satisfaction, user satisfaction is low.
In many organizations, unfortunately, frontline employees - front desk employees, receptionists, delivery personnel, etc. - are the ones with the most customer contact - are the lowest paid, receive minimal training, are given little authority and very little responsibility for decision making (what is known as delegation of authority)
High-quality service employees require reward systems that recognize customer satisfaction results and behaviors that act more as instructors and mentors than as administrators. Training is vitally important, as service employees need to be well trained to handle any interaction with users, from receiving them to asking the right questions.

Information technology

Information technology incorporates computing, communication, data processing, and various other means of converting data into useful information. The intelligent use of information technology not only leads to better quality and productivity, but also to a competitive advantage.

Quality in health care

Another service industry that has widely embraced quality and garnered broad support for it is health care. As the public and government pay more attention to the health system, their providers turn to quality as a way to achieve better performance and costs minors.
For example, Intermountain Health Care, a nonprofit system of 24 hospitals in Utah, since 1985 has pursued quality as a strategic goal.
(The health care industry uses the term CQI - continuous quality improvement - to identify its quality initiatives.) One hospital reduced the post-surgery infection rate to less than a fifth of the acceptable national standard by using statistical tools to improve quality.
At Boston's New England Deaconess Hospital, teams identify problems that add unnecessary days to days in the hospital. In two years Deaconess achieved an overall reduction of 10% in the length of days in the hospital. By re-examining the fundamental processes of health care, costs can be reduced and quality can be significantly improved. 
The International Quality Study, a research project conducted in 1991 by the American Quality Foundation and Ernst & Young, determined that more than half of healthcare provider organizations would be using quality as the main evaluation criterion for compensation for health care. administration Superior, that a high percentage of organizations would be using customer satisfaction as a main criterion for strategic planning and that a growing number of employees would be involved in quality-related teams.
Additionally, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) published new standards, requiring CEOs to receive training in CQI methods. Accreditation standards incorporate more in-depth quality improvement principles in areas such as surgical case review, blood use assessment, and drug use assessment.

Crosby's philosophy

The absolutes of the administration Crosby's quality include the following points:
q  Quality means conformity with needs and not elegance.
q  There is no such thing as a quality problem.
q  There is no such thing as a quality economy; it is always cheaper to get the job done right the first time.
q  The only performance measure is the cost of quality, that is, the disbursement due to lack of conformity.
q  The only performance standard is "zero defects"

Feigenbaum's philosophy

Feingenbaum's philosophy is summarized in its three steps towards quality:
q  Quality leadership.
q  Modern quality technology.
q  Organizational commitment.

Ishikawa philosophy

Some of the key elements of his philosophy are summarized here:
  1. Quality begins with education and ends with education.
  2. The first step in quality is knowing the needs of the users.
  3. The ideal state of quality control occurs when inspection is no longer necessary.
  4. Eliminate the root cause and not the symptoms.
  5. Quality control is the responsibility of all workers in all divisions.
  6. Do not confuse the means with the objectives.
  7. Put quality first and set your sights on long-term profits.
  8. Marketing is the entry and exit of quality.
  9. Senior management should not show anger when subordinates present facts to them.
  10. 95% of an organization's problems can be solved with simple analysis and problem-solving tools.
  11. Those data that do not have scattered information (that is, variability) are false.

Critical Incidents. "How to measure customer satisfaction" .- Hayes B.

A critical incident is an example of organizational performance from the users' perspective. In other words, critical incidents are those aspects of organizational performance with which users come into direct contact. As a result, these incidents typically define staff performance (in service organizations) and product quality (in manufacturing companies).
A crucial incident is a specific example of the service or product, which describes positive or negative performance. 
q  Positive performance is a feature of the service or product that the customer would like to see every time they receive the service or product. 
q  A negative performance is a characteristic of the service or product that would make the customer doubt the quality of the organization. 
q  A good critical incident to define customer needs has two characteristics: 1) It is specific, and 2)  describes the service provider in terms of behavior, or describes the service using specific adjectives. 
These characteristics should be explained to the people responsible for generating the critical incidents. A critical incident is specific if it describes an individual service behavior or characteristic, or a single product characteristic. The incident can be worded so that it is interpreted the same way by different people. The critical incident is not specific if it describes various aspects of performance. For example, a bad critical incident would be the following:
I went to request an appointment for a doppler and waited a long time. While I waited, I observed that the clerk was promptly serving her customers. This critical incident is not specific because it describes two different incidents. The reader would not know whether to focus on the fact that the patient waited a long time or that the clerk provided prompt service. An example of good critical incidents would be to divide the previous example into two separate incidents:
  1. I waited a long time.
  2. The employee attended clients promptly.
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A critical incident should also focus on the behavior of the service provider, or on specific adjectives that describe the product or service.
I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
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