Catalytic Management Consulting
Accelerating Growth, Driving Performance

Service Quality Drives Revenue

Company Overview

Our client was a large regional non-profit organization with a history of serving women since 1877. The non-profit has been an advocate for women and their families with diverse programs that focus on the goal of economic self-sufficiency. Their mission is accomplished through the delivery of various training programs including life skills and job skills and through job placement upon completion of a program.

Business Challenge

In addition to job training programs, the non-profit supported a division that placed graduates of their home health care training program into full-time and part-time positions in health care. These placements were generally made through state, federal and private agencies that supported home health care for the elderly. In the absence of a Director for this division, the service delivered by the non-profit’s internal placement staff declined and their placement partners began to seek health care workers through other channels. While the placement staff experienced problems, the quality of direct care to their “patients” remained high and the field health care workers retained the respect of both patients and placement partners. However, “doing business” with the non-profit division was becoming increasingly difficult and thus was adversely affecting revenue. An experienced Director was recruited and her first task was to reverse the revenue decline.

Result

This project was highly successful in very quickly improving relationships with their placement partners. The non-profit’s improved service and customer focus resulted in a 10% revenue increase within 30 days. Internal management now possessed the knowledge and tools to independently pursue continuous improvement through out the organization.

Catalytic Management Solution

Offering a quality product or service is not enough to generate revenue. Our non-profit client was proof that despite the quality of their care givers, revenue was declining. How you do business is just as important as the product you deliver. If you make it difficult or painful for customers to work with you, they will inevitably find another vendor. As a non-profit, the organization had a very limited budget for outside consulting, so it was critical that we develop a solution that would allow their management team to drive continuous improvement and that would reverse the revenue decline quickly.

Catalytic Management established that our solution to the declining service and revenue would deliver the following elements:

  • Refocus the internal placement staff on becoming customer driven
  • Create a leadership team that would drive continuous improvement beyond the direct involvement of Catalytic Management
  • Create widespread knowledge of the principles of quality service delivery and service recovery
  • Develop an understanding among the placement staff that sales and service are inextricably linked
  • Build specific service delivery and service recovery skills
  • Improve customer facing processes to support faster response times
  • Improve customer needs analysis designed to improve matching of patient and health care giver
  • Deliver training tools that would enhance on-going internal service quality training

The first step in the service quality initiative was to create an internal “Service Leadership” team. This team consisted of the division Director, CFO, HR, COO and a client representative. Catalytic Management recommended that a member of the team come from the client side to insure that the “critical voice of the customer” was heard and embedded into any long term solutions. To the credit of our client, they chose a partner that was particularly dissatisfied with the organization and that they knew would be vocal in the strategy sessions. This seeming risk paid big dividends as the customer’s contributions to improving service proved to be invaluable.

The Service Leadership team established specific quality standards for the placement team and participated in the implementation of all aspects of the service initiative.

Process improvement efforts were facilitated by Catalytic Management in partnership with the Service Leadership and the division Director and improved; more customer focused processes were instituted.

Upon development of the new service standards and processes, Catalytic Management developed and delivered two customized training modules for the internal placement team. As expected these sessions were lively and interactive and truly began the process of turning around the attitudes of the staff. The modules focused on introducing the concepts and importance of delivering quality service and introduced specific techniques for service recovery. The new service standards developed by the Service Leadership team and the division Director were introduced and supported during training. In addition to training for the internal placement staff, Catalytic Management conducted mini-training sessions for the health care workers themselves. We anticipated that these sessions would be challenging due to language and cultural differences so the curriculum was customized and aligned to the audience diversity to insure acceptance of the concepts and techniques presented.

To insure that the Director specifically and management in general would have the tools to independently pursue their long term service goals, Catalytic Management developed a “Guide to Service Excellence’ that was designed to be a 10 week training tool. It was used to enhance staff meetings and informal service sessions and included exercises and games that reinforced the concepts introduced in formal training.