World Class Service – Cyprus

Let me share a tale of World Class service in Cyprus Vs. disgraceful service from a major UK bank.

Two days ago, I upgraded by broadband speed with Cytanet, the Cyprus telcoms. provider, in order to receive HD TV over the web.

Last night, at about 10.30 PM, I got fed up with the buffering. I called Cyta and with two automated questions was immediately through to an English speaking technician. Within five minutes, this lady steered me through a test of my download speed. She agreed that I had a problem and raised a call ticket for level two support. She took my mobile number and promised that somebody would call me back in the day shift.

At 9.00 AM next morning, another charming lady, from Cyta level 2 support, called and confirmed that I had a technical issue. She escalated the issue to level 3 support and promised that an engineer would visit within four days.

Two hours later, an engineer phoned and asked for directions to my home. I hurried home and there were three engineers waiting for me. It took about a half an hour but they would only leave when I confirmed that my broadband download speed exceeded my subscription level. I shook their hands thanked them and wished them a merry Xmas.

In contrast, yesterday I phoned my UK bank with a query. After various automated messages, conversations with three people, including the senior manager on duty, I concluded that they had not helped me. I received £50 compensation for my inconvenience (this was described as the agreed rate for my international phone call). The last time that I called the same bank, I received £75. Based upon my experience, major UK banks frequently demonstrate broken business processes and excessive downsizing, whereby it is impossible to speak to anybody who can take a decision.

My conclusions are simple. Let’s thank Cyta for World Class service and question why the UK banks are not broken up.

Let me express this as an open question:

Do you think that customer service in the UK utilities would be increased with greater competition?


Reflections on go ahead of Barnet outsourcing scheme via Guardian

English: An Indian call center

English: An Indian call center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


This is an interesting article from the Guardian. It’s RECOMMENDED READING, in my view.

via Barnet outsourcing scheme to go ahead – local government news round-up | Local Leaders Network | Guardian Professional.

As a former expert in business transformation management and outsourcing, let me share my views.

Firstly, I endorse greater outsourcing of front and back office services in local authorities. By and large, local authorities are run by ineffective managers who are always looking over their shoulder for political approval. Over the last twenty years, local authorities have spent fortunes with consultants to help them run their businesses, so it should come as no surprise that many believe that the alternative model of outsourcing is preferable.

Strategy consultants will tell you that it is best to go through a transformation program before outsourcing, otherwise you are outsourcing the cost of inefficiency.

However, the biggest problem with outsourcing is downstream change which can be prohibitively expensive.

Given that politicians will continue to meddle, outsourcing firms are likely to be the winner of local authority piecemeal outsourcing; I suspect that the Barnet outsourcing scheme will eventually prove to be an example of ineffective piecemeal outsourcing.

Sadly, David Cameron’s Government, this time under leadership of Local Authority Minister, Erik Pickles and Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, have missed an opportunity to take a strategic look at local authority outsourcing and negotiate a series of national contracts.

Let me turn this point around to two open questions:

  1. How should the UK Central Government intervene to ensure the most cost effective outsourcing of both front and back-office local authority services?

  2. How should the UK Central Government intervene to encourage greater off-shoring of local authority services to ensure greater value for money?

Vector of thumb|100px|left

Vector of thumb|100px|left (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any thoughts?

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