Speed vs Quality of service delivery - what's more important?

02 November 2023

It’s safe to say that in today’s competitive business environment, your clients expect the highest levels of service from you and your team and also expect that their issues will be dealt with swiftly. The old adage ‘time is money’ has never been more accurate. 

In order to deliver such elevated levels of service at speed and provide client satisfaction, you need effective systems, great support staff and field engineers as well as an offering that is often expected to be available 24/7. Such service levels aren’t easy to manage, can be costly - in both time and money – and need constant monitoring to ensure service levels are being met.

Key reasons why quality service delivery is important

Most organisations and business leaders strive to deliver a quality service, and where possible, exceed client expectations, but why is it so important? Some of the reasons for this are included here, with examples of delivery:

Customers want to feel well looked after:

  • Requests are answered quickly and efficiently
  • Spares and parts are available when needed
  • Problems are heard and understood
  • Even if a request if not under contract, you can support them

Customers want to receive value for money:

  • They are paying for a service and minimum service levels are only just enough in today’s fast-paced world
  • They are likely to compare their own service to their competitors – what can you do to enhance their service offering to increase value to the end customer?
  • Downtime is costly to their end customers – they pay you to ensure that it is minimised or eradicated

When customers are satisfied, there will be benefits to your organisation, too. 

Growth

  • Customer retention and loyalty, giving repeat and new sales
  • Customer trust
  • Customer referrals

Cost-savings

  • Retention and reduced churn rates
  • Sales costs can be reduced
  • Use of customer testimonials and word-of-mouth marketing

The speed of the service is important, too

We live in a ‘I want it now’ world, and service providers won’t survive without delivering a rapid service. Customers’ service issues are your service issues. They expect field engineers to arrive at the time agreed and for support requests to be answered quickly. They don’t want to hear that the parts aren’t available, they want them delivered ‘now’.

Some consumers will often pay a premium for increased service speeds, but irrespective of how you deliver speed of service, it is important to them, and for your business. Providing a consistently good speed of service will pay dividends to your business in the long run alongside the delivery of quality service.

Why providing both is key

As business leaders demand more from their service providers, it is essential to be able to deliver agreed service level agreements and whilst doing so, do it with expertise, professionalism and efficiency.

Clients rely on their IT functions and expect you to be able to provide both speed and quality of service. One or the other is no longer enough. Every person within your organisation that liaises with your client needs to be trained to utilise systems, understand customer needs and prioritise business-critical issues. Everyone should consider themselves a critical link in the chain of delivering client satisfaction.

How can you provide great speed and quality service delivery?

In order to deliver excellent service delivery there are specific areas that need to be considered, some of which are outlined below:

Staff training – ensure your team

  • Are adept in the use of any systems they utilise
  • Are fully abreast of client requirements and agreed service level agreements
  • Have received customer engagement training – this should be given to all staff, not just first line support
  • Understand your expectations for both the quality and speed of the service delivery they provide

Use relevant systems

  • Systems can be installed for call handlers to record incidents
  • Field engineer location management systems ensure their time is optimised whilst adhering to service level agreements
  • Warehouse and spares management systems should be implemented including inventory management

Measure customer service

  • Ensure you have dashboard with metrics in place to regularly review the speed and quality delivered by both call handlers and field engineers
  • Monitor physical delivery times for spares sent directly to clients

Client experience

  • Discuss customer satisfaction during regular reviews
  • Ask for feedback after every interaction

The cost-effective solution to delivering both speed and quality service

For many IT service providers, having the required field engineers and available stock levels is not practical or cost-efficient. This impacts their ability to provide the quality and speed of service that clients require. There is an answer, however.

Why not consider outsourcing these functions to Smart CT? 

Smart CT offers bespoke, trusted technology services and support, designed exclusively for the channel. We know that when businesses have problems with their IT they need someone to fix the issue quickly, that’s why we’ll send a highly experienced field engineer within four hours. We can do that because all our engineers are managed by us, and in the UK they’re fully employed by us too.

We understand that when a business need a spare part, they expect us to have it in stock. That’s why we have over 25,000 of them in forward stocking locations and our experts know exactly what to send. We work with the world’s leading IT manufacturers and offer a full suite of smart IT services, all designed to keep businesses connected and to boost efficiency and profitability.

If you want to work with a smart partner who will underpin and support your IT services, trust Smart CT. Contact us to discuss how we can provide a cost-effective solution to deliver both speed and quality service delivery to your clients on your behalf. Or head over to our outsourcing spares page where you can learn more about how we help you manage your spares better.