Quality improvements for LQS' support services : a design-oriented approach

Buuren, A.A.J. ten (2015) Quality improvements for LQS' support services : a design-oriented approach.

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Abstract:LQS has recently received indications that customer satisfaction slowly dropped. One of the facets influencing this decrease in customer satisfaction is the unsatisfactory business support LQS is providing. Customers can enter at every level in the organization. Approachability is in itself good, but when customers can enter at all levels of the organization, it means that they do not get a consistent answer and things can be assured on the one side, but cannot fulfilled on the other side. This is the point where LQS loses the overview and give customers the opportunity to enter the organization at different levels, which results in inconsistent answers given. LQS is currently working on a quality improvement of its services and this thesis focuses on structuring its internal and external processes to improve its customer service performance. In recent years, LQS developed a number of improvement programs to increase its customer service performance, like a Customer Intimacy program, but these programs did not prove to be successful. That is why the main research question is defined as: How can LQS improve its customer service performance and by that its customer satisfaction level? This study deals with a practical business problem, and therefore a design-­‐oriented approach described by Van Aken (2012) is used. Design science has been used to tackle the field problem of the organization under study and is used to provide the following deliverables: - The problem definition - The problem analysis and a diagnosis of the major causes and consequences of the problem - A detailed solution design and a change plan. An empirical investigation focuses on the current processes and underlying problems LQS is facing. The design is assessed with semi-­‐ and unstructured interviews with customers, employees and management, and critical processes are identified during participant observation studies. The analyses were discussed during focus group sessions to evaluate each step of the design process. The theoretical investigation focuses on the four critical components – people, process, technology, and information – that determine a Service Desk’s success. The solution design results in a Service Desk for LQS with detailed components that determine a Service Desk’s success. At first, LQS should start identifying the employees that should be involved in the Service Desk with a focus on two competencies; empathy and assertiveness. Processes were made clear that should be followed for different types of issues and problems. Responsibilities are described and the use of the Assyst software facilitates the needs of LQS in increasing the service performance. The change plan is presented as a Strategy Map, described by Kaplan & Norton (2004), with only a few objectives and initiatives for each perspective that helps managers narrowing in and specifying their focus on what that has to be done to change from the current state to the future desired state with a with an increase service quality. Creating a climate for service is seen as one of the largest challenges that LQS has to overcome when implementing the Service Desk. This climate for service has to ensure that team leaders are discharged of many customer contacts, so they can focus on leading their teams and daily operations. The climate for service results in an increased service quality and can separate the employees dealing with customer issues/problems, so other employees can focus on internal problems and daily operations. This design-­‐oriented research has a strong practical contribution, and by setting up a Service Desk according to the specifications and processes described in this research, LQS can increase its quality of services provided and thereby increasing the customer satisfaction. Following the initiatives described in the Strategy Map will help LQS move from its current situation into the desired situation, where objectives specified can be accomplished. Given the specific situation of LQS and customer requirements, the solution design is not completely generalizable to other organizations.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/67172
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