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Like the company in general, the Customer Support department needs objective measures. Without them, progress is meaningless. A growing company demands that each department ask itself how it will know whether it is successful, and how it will keep score.

Keeping score starts by first asking what are the vital signs, or critical success factors (CSF's), of the department. The CSF's provide a means of focusing on the most important, top level goals. These should be no more than four or five. Additional, supporting measures can be subsumed under these.

CSF's ought to be of 3 types:

1. Quality: soft and hard measures of reliability, skill, functionality
2. Production: measures of efficiency and productivity
3. Economic: measures of cost and budgeting

Having identified the CSF's, the next step is to figure out how to measure them and begin collecting data. The initial data create a baseline of performance. Now targets can be set for minimum performance and for excellence. These often become the basis for reviewing department performance and setting group objectives. Keeping score is then a matter of issuing periodic reports versus the targets.

The attached table is a possible set of critical success factors (CSF's) and measures for the Customer Support department that provides both telephone-based support and field service. (For a copy of this sample support CSF's, please sign our Guestbook and request the "Customer Service Measures Template.")
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