Customers, process and people
A Standard Life case study

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Page 5: Performance measures

Having discussed the change strategy Standard Life pursued, it is necessary to examine the measures required to assess and evaluate the performance of the management process. Traditionally success is measured in financial terms. Although these are important to any business, they are no longer sufficient on their own and should be supplemented by other measures. A balanced approach has been taken to measuring the success of Total Customer Satisfaction at Standard Life. Measures have been split into four groups, each with a number of its own measures as follows:


  • Customer satisfaction
  • Policies per customer
  • Complaints
  • Persistency


  • Error rates
  • Cycle time
  • Costs
  • Productivity


  • Staff morale index
  • Absenteeism
  • Turnover
  • Competencies

Business results

  • Financial strength
  • Expenses
  • Investment returns
  • Market share
  • Return on capital.

Standard Life does not examine one group of measures in isolation, but all the groups together as they are mutually dependent.

Continuous improvement

The Total Customer Satisfaction management process is under continuous review in order to identify ways in which the process can be improved. This is achieved through:

  • benchmarking against the best practices of other leading organisations
  • customer feedback and research into their requirements
  • process performance
  • staff opinion surveys
  • changes to strategy and the planning process
  • assessing the actions of competitors and developments in the external environment
  • self-assessment against the EFQM excellence model.

Not only does Standard Life use the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) excellence model to identify strengths and areas for improvement in a structured and disciplined manner, it also serves to inform the planning process. The EFQM model additionally enables Standard Life to score its progress towards Total Customer Satisfaction, providing a framework for developing its management process. The model defines business
practices under five key enablers (i.e. what the company needs to do):

  • leadership
  • policy and strategy
  • people
  • partnerships and resources
  • processes.

Standard Life 5 Diagram 2The model also identifies four key results areas - i.e. what the company achieves – to monitor measure and check on performance. Three of these include: people results, customer results and society results. For example, what the organisation achieves in terms of the needs and expectations of the community at large. The model also identifies key performance results which are financial and non financial.

Standard Life | Customers, process and people