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British Gas - Centrica
LYNDA KING TAYLOR
presented the prize
Under the British Gas name Centrica supplies gas and electricity to residential, industrial and commercial customers throughout the UK..It has also recently acquired One.Tel an 'indirect' telecoms provider.
Against a background of a highly competitive energy market Centrica continues to be the first choice gas supplier for millions of customers, and also one of the largest suppliers of electricity. In North America too they have built a position as the leading energy suplier in their unregulated market. They asked Lynda to address their support staffs as "We work hard to understand our customer's needs and respond to them. It is rightly the focus of much activity in all parts of our business and fundamental to today's success and in the future. We are committed to providing our customers - internal and external - with excellent service and great value for money."
Lynda has long been involved with British Gas writing it up in her first book on Quality - Total Customer Service in the highly successful UK's Sunday Times business skills series. She said "I'm a great fan, through good times and bad. Centrica is a leading provider of energy and other essential services at work, home and on the road - and the fact that they brought all their front-line service delivery levels together - the lifeline of their business - is a major PLUS. Too many organisations forget about their support staffs, but it is these individuals who aim to make life easier every day for millions of customers. The reputation of the company, and the loyalty of the customer is certainly in their hands. "
LKT presented the
prize to the support staff in call centres, billing, credit mgmt depts. at UKs British Gas-Centrica saying "The reputation
of the whole company indeed the entire industry is in the hands of every individual"
The LIA is the UK's leading professional association for all those who give and support
personal financial advice. Their membership of 25,000 comes from every sector of the industry - appointed or company representatives, Independent Financial Advisers(IFA), broker consultants, managers, trainers and supervisors. The LIA receives active support from major life offices, networks, IFA firms, investment houses, banks, building societies and friendly societies. Jeff Travis, who was the CEO of the LIA commended Lynda and her work for the organisation. He says:
" Lynda helped rescue our 20+ year Annual Conference which had successive years of falling attendances. Our financial adviser members are mature professionals who are very hard-pressed. Persuading them to take two days out and pay several hundred pounds was a major challenge. We commissioned Lynda to interview each of our speakers and draw from each the special value, the must-not-miss info that people would gain by investing time and money to listen to the speaker. Lynda faced quite a challenge because of the diversity of our speakers and the weekly copy deadlines over a 3 month period. Speakers ranged from the M.D. of the Financial Services Authority to the CEOs of major U.K.life offices, the Minister of State at the Treasury and a variety of experts, specialists and practitioners. Lynda interviewed them all and met the deadlines. We found her style of writing fresh, and so different. We published her interviews in the newspapers, including Financial Adviser, our house magazine, on the internet and sent them by e-mail. The result was our best attended conference for years."
For the second year running Lynda's
workfor the LIA is a winner
, contributing to their "best attended
conference in years".
"Its important to recognise that the reputation of 60
years can be determined and destroyed by 60 seconds of poor conduct at the
front line service delivery level."
"The talent in worldwide excellence" says Lynda addressing 200 senior managers from Pitney Bowes European operating companies "is to think global and act local. When you have a worldwide brand such as enjoyed by Pitney Bowes, leading the world in mail and messaging management, you have global presence but must maximise local markets - have local customer service working for you."
Pitney Bowes is a Fortune 500 company, with business facilities in 120 countries, more than two million customers, and revenue of more than $4.4billion. Operating across Europe, in Latin America, Canada, Australia, across Asia, Africa and the Middle East - it is truly global. Invited specially as their after-dinner speaker, Lynda discussed key success criteria worldwide for quality products and customer service. "We pride ourselves on delivering customer-centred solutions, " said Pitney Bowes executive, and so does LKT!"
LKT and Pitney Bowes go back a long way [she hastens to add not to when they launched their first franking machine in the UK in 1922!]. Following the European event she said "As its size and stature suggests, Pitney Bowes is far more than a mailing equipment manufacturer. It leads the market place as a global provider. One of their keys to their business success is their ability to partner with customers on a long-term basis through their direct sales and service force. Their organisation has become more consolidated, and this allows an enhanced ability to customise products and services for local and country-specific needs. That's the future. I'm always amazed at their ability to do this with speed, and rapidly respond to market changes. They are so ahead of others. They are in that top 50 worldwide of excellence organisations ...they're not complacent, and they're honest. Pitney Bowes appreciates it can not afford to stand still - they recognise that the reputation of 60 years can be determined and destroyed by 60 seconds of poor conduct at front line service delivery level. That's true - its happened to the best before and will do so again."
Another company in Lynda King Taylor 's books Quality - Total Customer Service and Quality - Sustaining Customer Service in the UK's prestigious Sunday Times business skills series is Dell Computer Corporation. As Lynda says "Excellence organisations become partners in pride, people and prosperity. Interestingly Pitney Bowes and Dell are no exception. They recently announced agreements to bring enhanced small business solutions to the market place together. Persuing alliances like this , with like-minded A! customer service excellence companies, is a win-win for their common customer base. On such Euro events as above tho it's always important to remind any organisation that ' the higher you go in football the less you can afford to lose possession!'
Lynda KT says "Excellence organisations become
Creating VALUE & VISION in the hospitality industry for Scandic Hotels saw Lynda King Taylor recently working with 24 of Scandic's high flying Euro managers at their Business School in Germany. The entire business at Scandic is based on " value " :
Lynda says"Goals, values and visions are crucial, but too many organisations, and hotels in particular, merely pay lip service to all this. Making the right decision in every situation for the local hotel, the brand, the chain are an important part of any hotel manager's skills. It's always about applying common sense - alas common sense is not so common. You have to win hearts and minds - the vision must be to act strong locally but all the time with the best interest of the hotel chain as their goal. This takes education, education, education - adding vision to Brand value. I stay in hotels so many times in a year and I have never had cause to complain about the chandeliers and crystal - but Oh! the lack of courtesy, common sense, charisma, caring, charm. Have they forgotten what business they are in? Imagine every one of their staff just doing one thing better tomorrow than they did today - just ONE small thing, because it is the small things that hurt in hotels. That's success and that is what Scandic aim for. Doing a thousand little things better."
Scandic senior management enjoyed Lynda's work which was praised by her cross-European audience. Said their Head of Human Resources for Europe, Peter Agren, "What impressed me the most in Lynda's work was how she was able to link the Scandic core value Omtanke (caring, positive attention) into a wider context as well. Comparing this buzz word with other successful corporations' brand essence worldwide. I also think Lynda and the whole group had good chemistry during her work & presentations.... this is what really hit me."
The hospitality industry is not easy explains Lynda, "for Scandic
their success today will merely set the benchmark for everyone else. But
they are good at listening, listening, listening: they KISS policies [' Keep
It Stupidly Simple ' ] such as their excellent enviornmental objectives which
are even on their website from the CEOs office. They live what that say,
and walk the talk. They know its training, training, training: disciplined
demands and demanding discipline. But the only place success comes before
work is in a dictionary. I was impressed with their hotels and it is an
hotel Group the world stage players will watch. The management are at
least out there with their staff, customers and guests. Scandic know the
desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world! Pity more of our
hotels and hospitality industry management do not always recognise that."
Lynda said after her work with Scandic Hotels “I was impressed with Scandic hotels. Their success today sets the benchmark for every one else. Scandic is an hotel group the world stage players will watch”. This certainly proved to be the case as Hilton Group [another hotels group Lynda has worked with – see client feedback] recently completed their acquisition of Scandic Hotels.
Commenting on the deal, David Michels, Hilton Group CEO, said “I am delighted. It is a partnership of two great companies. With two distinct and distinguished brands, Hilton and Scandic, this deal makes Hilton International the leading hotel operator in the Nordic area, an important market for the business and leisure traveller”.
Many hotels in the Scandic portfolio are being rebranded as Hilton - making 55 new Hilton hotels in Northern Europe. Anthony Harris, Hilton International CEO, who oversees the integration of Scandic and rebranding programme, said we are now “underway with integrating the Groups, working on the new Hiltons and making sure that both Scandic and Hilton customers are well satisfied and have greater choice."
Roland Nilsson, Area President of Hilton International's new Nordic region and on the executive board of Hilton International, added “Scandic is proud to become part of a major international group such as Hilton, the best known hotel brand in the world. This is a new and exciting challenge. At the same time, Scandic, the best known hotel brand in the Nordic region, will continue to grow and to provide high quality service to our many customers”. Watch this space says Lynda, as “we hope alliances and acquisitions, such as this deal, is a WIN-WIN for these like-minded service excellence enterprises AND their customers.”
LKT told her European
LIA and BIBA
"It's not about customers being loyal to you - its about you being loyal to your customers"said LKT addressing 1000 financial services audiences in NEC Birmingham and Belfast. Lynda was keynote speaker at two separate events, the Life Insurance Association's [LIA] 21st annual convention and the British Insurance Brokers Association's conference [BIBA].
Lynda's speech at BIBA centred on the Secrets of Customer Relations Management defining the difference between merely servicing clients and valuing them, including winning back lost loyalty and recovering reputation. She enthused that brokers and broking firms were in potent positions, as relationships with all customers were of vital importance, with high quality product and advice increasingly valued and vital for survival. Clients, said Lynda, "want face-to-face service + advice, not just quoted offerings: high-touch not just high-tech. It was all about the conference theme 'harnessing the power' - people and technology pulling together to jointly deliver the best in total client service."
BIBA Chairman, George Nixon, who is Vice Chairman of the Willis Group and Vice President of the Insurance Institute of London, said of Lynda's speech: "We endeavour to bring to our Conference high quality speakers whose presentations can broaden our delegates vision and help them in the leadership of their businesses. Her presentation certainly fulfilled that objective and was very well received."
At the LIA Conference Lynda also fielded fine feedback : The organsiers said
"Her speech at the LIA conference in Birmingham was brilliant. She
certainly didn't pull any punches or as they say ' Miss the target and hit
the wall.' " Lynda appreciated the problems facing this industry, and
all swamping the market place, ranging through revised rules on training and
competence, polarisation, modifications to the taxation regime, company M&A.
She gave a series of 'golden rules' giving, as delegates remarked, "a
fresh and provocative analysis of what constitutes good customer service" .
In her address Lynda gave enthusiastic encouragement to E-learning as a way forward to eject excellence and education across this nationwide finacial sector. Said LIA's Chief Executive "We thought her presentation was excellent."
For more information on Lynda and E-learning see her work with Video Arts.
LKT 'Harnessing the power' in Belfast and Birmingham. "People and
technology must pull together to jointly deliver the best in total client
service. People want high touch as well as high tech."
The above programme involves visiting comparable organisations and seeking
group solutions to strategic questions that directly affect their business.
The comprehensive exchange looks at the management of change and its
challenges, performance management, plus the role and interaction of the
many stakeholders in policing. Lynda worked alongside three CEO groups on
issues that face both the NHS and the MPS incl:
Speaking after the event, Lynda said " This is an exciting and
enthusiastic programme. Senior command within the MPS, and their statutory
NHS partners under the Crime & Disorder Act, share this unique opportunity
to investigate searching issues that are relevant to both organisations.
They exchange significant learning and best practice - and it's challenging
- more brain than storming!
© Copyright Lynda King Taylor - Excellence 2006-2013
Often the trouble with
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