Page 1: Introduction
The reputation of a business may be affected by what its customers think and say about its products or services. This is driven by the experience of customers when dealing with the business. High quality customer service will encourage customers to become regular or repeat users or purchasers. On the other hand, a poor customer experience may damage a business through loss of consumer confidence.
TNT was founded in Australia in 1946 by Ken Thomas with a single truck. Today, TNT is a global business and the market leader in business-to-business (B2B) express delivery services, delivering up to 150 million items per year. It has the largest individual share of the national market and employs over 10,000 people across the UK and Ireland. TNT operates in the tertiary (or service) sector of the economy which provides widely varying services to other businesses and to consumers. The tertiary sector is the largest sector of the UK economy, ahead of the primary (extraction) and secondary (manufacturing) sectors.
The Customer Promise
In 2008 TNT recognised that the increasing expectations of customers meant the business had to make major changes to ensure it could meet their needs. In-depth research showed that customer satisfaction depended not just on the process of delivering the service, but also on how the service was carried out. This resulted in TNT adopting a core strategy focused on delivering a quality customer experience. It developed a two-year programme to implement and communicate its Customer Promise to employees and customers.
In order to achieve the levels of process innovation and continuous improvement that the customer focus strategy required, TNT also needed to ensure the capabilities of its people were aligned to this, particularly in delivering a high quality customer experience. A review of new employees to the company showed that only 10% held qualifications above QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework) level 2, compared to the industry norm of 52% (as identified by Skills for Logistics Research).
This case study examines how TNT’s Customer Promise reflects its core strategy of customer focus and aligns with its corporate values to influence the organisation’s culture.