Benchmarking Inside and Out

By: Ron Kaufman

Benchmarking means comparing yourself with – and learning from – the very best in any field or endeavor. We recommend you benchmark service leaders from your own industry and other industries as well.

What do you want to do better? What do they do exceptionally well? What best practices have they adopted? How are they changing and preparing for the future to maintain their leadership positions?

Are you benchmarking those strongest in recruitment and retention of service staff? Or fastest in recovery when things go wrong? Do you want to study best practice loyalty programs? Or best “value for time” surveys and satisfaction studies.

Benchmarking can be done in a tactical way: process-by-process to improve your own. Or from a more strategic perspective: positioning in a market for long term profitability and growth.

Southwest Airlines benchmarks Formula One pit-stops for fastest possible turnaround of aircraft on the ground. Federal Express benchmarks Pizza Hut for highest rates of on-time delivery. Shangri-La Hotel benchmarks American Express for world-class customer service call-centers. Ikea benchmarks Dell for newest ideas in supply chain coordination and logistics.

Who do you benchmark? What do you want to learn? Who is the best in your industry? Who is the best in the world?

And to take this one more step… who will you invite to benchmark you?