Performance Constraints and Services

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    Performance Guarantees are offerred routinely in services. Fedex and UPS give you an expected date of delivery for normal ground shipping. Next day air and 2-day deliveries have their own implicit performance guarantees. Ordering computers online always includes an expected date of shipping that changes dynamically, if you change configurations from standardized ones to custom ones!


    Even pizza deliveries are guaranteed within 30 ninutes or your pizza may be free!


    You bet that all these people are monitoring their services very closely minute by minute so that they can keep their performance guarantees. This applies to most services. If they are not there now, they are coming! If Acme Mortgage company cannot process your Mortgage application in two weeks, some online mortgage processor promises to, and will do it.


    Defining a set of Performance Contraints is key to making sure that services are delivered properly. In many cases, the Performance Contraints may be in conflict with each other. If you make sure that your support phone calls are short, achieving your Average Handle Time (AHT) goals, your Customer Satisfaction Index may suffer.


    Now making sure that you deliver a service properly, means that all of your Performance Constraints are within acceptable Ranges rather meeting single absolute numbers but balanced against each other in acceptable ways.  It also means that you don’t come to know AFTER THE FACT, that you will not be meeting a Performance Constraint. If you can get alerted in real-time on a possible Performance Constraint violation, you can take some corrective action.


    If you are not meeting your Average Handle Time (AHT) goals in a call center, you can get some more people on the phones and make sure that your acceptable levels of service on the phone are met.


    Performance Constraints provide a very valuable way to think about service processes and how you want to deliver them. More importantly, they provide a pro-active way of managing them.


    It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises but only performance is reality. – Harold S.Geneen.

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