“Our business goal is to improve our customer service by 10% next year.”
‘’We will achieve our service standard with 90% of calls answered within 10 seconds.”
Cause for celebration?
Have you ever heard or read statements such as these? Do you believe them? Do they feel like real business goals?
They’re common in both the public and private sectors, yet I’m always cynical about these sorts of announcements and often fail to see how they are real business goals. Take the first example – the one concerned with setting a round-sum percentage target. I always wonder how or why it’s such a precise figure – could it be just a hope?
It could suggest that the speaker knows exactly how they are going to achieve that level of improvement. Yet, in my experience, when you ask how this goal will be reached, the reply you’re likely to get is: “It’s all about trying harder”, or they talk of staff working better together. If it’s that easy – improving their organisation with no real plan – why have they not done it already?
You need a method!
If you want to improve any part of your organisation you need a method that includes:
If when discussing business goals, you hear a manager set a round-sum percentage target to improve an element of the organisation, such as service or sales, simply ask them, “By what method?”. If all you get in reply is intentions and wishful thinking, don’t hold your breath that things will improve.