ASCENT GROUP
Customer Experience Consulting and Publications

Consulting Services

Improving the Customer Experience

Areas of Focus


CUSTOMER SERVICE DIAGNOSTIC REVIEW

To ensure that improvement efforts provide the highest return on investment, we often begin a project with a broad-based “diagnostic assessment.” Every customer service organization has areas that contain more opportunities for improvement than other areas. The diagnostic, conducted during a brief period by a functional expert, identifies where the most significant improvement opportunities lie, based on our knowledge of industry best practice. This allows senior management to direct subsequent in-depth efforts to areas that offer the greatest opportunity to enhance overall performance.


Customer Service Assessment

We conduct a business review of customer service operations to evaluate and document current processes, practices, systems and technologies, as well as identify areas that require improvement. We rely on one-on-one interviews of key individuals within the organization as well as any staff groups that support the operation. These interviews discuss current operations as well as noted problems. We examine examine several key areas in detail to determine the current state of performance, including:  service delivery practices and supporting technologies, self-service options, service level performance, organization, staffing, and development. We also interview key stakeholders to better understand the level of service provided to customers.  We may also conduct working sessions with subject matter experts as needed to gather needed data. Lastly, we will observe the facilities; sit with employees to directly monitor service delivery and response.


Implementation Emphasis

Successful implementation is the single most important measure of success. Recommendations that are not implemented are of no value to our clients. Our experience in implementing change in unique client settings provides a perspective that is essential for developing pragmatic recommendations and providing implementation guidance.


Joint Effort

Joint client/consultant teams provide a far greater capability to promote change and capture improvements than either group alone. Consultants bring broad industry perspective, experience with alternative approaches, objectivity, and the ability to focus attention and resources on individual problems and issues. Client participants bring an understanding of current and past operations, as well as knowledge of communication channels and organizational sensitivities. Joint client/consultant teams enhance client understanding of underlying concepts and ownership, which are essential for effective implementation and long-term success.


Tailored Solutions

We will not force fit “canned solutions” or impose improvement techniques that are inappropriate for the client’s environment. We take pride in our ability to mold and develop approaches for specific client needs and situations.


Benchmarking & Best Practices

We understand benchmarking and have seen the effects of this powerful tool upon organizations that are interested in evolving from average performers into industry leaders. Our approach to benchmarking has been both innovative and pragmatic. Our benchmarking reflects the best that the industry has to offer, resulting in better insights and real value. Our depth of experience in developing and managing benchmarking programs includes a diverse array of engagements. We perform focused benchmarking studies directly for clients, as well as sponsoring a number of annually recurring benchmarking programs.


PRe- and Post-System Optimization

We help companies gain process efficiencies prior to or following the upgrade or replacement of key Customer Systems. We combine a diagnostic assessment of the customer organization, processes, and systems to quickly identify strengths and weaknesses and highlight gaps in performance. Armed with this information, we develop near and long-term plans to improve practice, process, and organizational efficiency and to define the road forward.  


Deep Customer Service Research

The Ascent Group performs extensive research studies of customer service operations, including specifics of how Customer Service is measured and managed in companies from all industries.  The information from those studies helps inform our analysis of customer service operations, enabling us to quickly assess and provide guidance.

 

Select Clients

SAG-AFTRA

MOTION PICTURE INDUSTRY PENSION & HEALTH PLANS

WASHINGTON D.C. METRO AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY

OECONNECTION

AT&T

AMEREN ILLINOIS

NSTAR ELECTRIC

ENTERGY

AMERICAN WATER WORKS

PHILADELPHIA GAS WORKS

MACON WATER AUTHORITY

CITY OF HOT SPRINGS

JEA

GREATER CINCINNATI WATER

CITY OF DENTON TEXAS

 

Research Insights

 

Benchmarking Opportunities

The Ascent Group offers many opportunities for your company to participate in benchmarking and best practice discovery through its online benchmarking services: