Principles of Quality Service
A long time ago, a mentor who was one of the country’s top business leaders told me that the formula for creating a high-performance organization was simple: “hire the best people and then get out of their way and let them do their jobs.” While this is as true today as it was then, I have also learned a number of other lessons that help ensure high-quality service within a public relations agency.
By applying these lessons at Qorvis, we have been able to achieve and maintain a proud record of client satisfaction.
One of the primary principles we follow at Qorvis is setting and managing clear expectations of success with each and every client. It has been my experience that the leading cause of client dissatisfaction is a lack of alignment between the client and the agency in terms of scope of work, goals and anticipated results. More often than not, an agency team thinks they are doing a fine job and are surprised when they hear their client complain about a lack of results. That is because the client was expecting one set of results when the agency was working on another.
We have even broken this down into a formula: CS = R/E. Client satisfaction (CS) is a factor of results (R), over expectations (E). If results are higher than managed expectations, the CS number will be positive and so will client satisfaction. But if client expectations are not properly managed and exceed anticipated results, then the CS number is going to be negative and the relationship with the client will be as well.
To ensure a high R/E number, Qorvis focuses on a number of client service standards and procedures, including:
1. Establishing a clear scope of work (SOW) and set of deliverables at the outset of the engagement.
2. Maintaining regular reporting to and communication with the client to measure progress on the SOW and deliverables.
3. Holding routine “check-up” meetings to ensure the goals, SOW and deliverables are in alignment with the client and have not altered from the beginning of the engagement.
4. Having regular internal client team reviews to make sure that budget, staffing, resource allocation, strategies and tactics are in balance and focused on achieving the deliverables.
Another principle we adhere to at Qorvis is time management. Most agencies work on a time billing system, but we are different. We are not measuring performance against hours billed – only results. That means we are always striving to reach higher levels of efficiency as we work toward achieving our clients goals and objectives. Time billing can often inspire “busy work” that may clock hours on a time sheet, but often detracts from generating true value and results for the client. As Thoreau said, “It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”
Qorvis client service teams are trained to avoid superfluous activities in order to most effectively and efficiently reach the deliverables.
Our mantra: “Promise only what you can deliver, and deliver all that you promise.”