What is the business nature of HKCSC? Will it take on other business or
- HKCSC is a research,
consulting service provider, the consortium is a type of research service
program where members will enjoy research results and other value added
services such as focus group, luncheon, site visits etc. Our core business
is research and consultancy.
of the HKCSC Program endorse and support the mission and objectives
of the Consortium program by pooling resources, learning from
one another, undertaking scientific research and developing
practical business solutions to elevate the service quality
in Hong Kong.
is an independent service provider and is not associated or
affiliated with the businesses of the clients, nor owned by
the program participants.
Who are its prospects? Will it initiate a new trend in setting up of corporate
and marketing consultancies?
- For the consortium
program, we would like to have leading companies with good reputation
and practices that can learn from each other to elevate the service
standards in each industry.
If there should
be such a need, we believe similar organizations will bring sustainable
competitive advantage to benefit Hong Kong. We will certainly welcome
Timing and Rationale of the set up of the Consortium?
- Timing -
Hong Kong is a mature city with over 84% G.D.P. generated by the service
sector. However the general impression of the quality of service in
Hong Kong when compare with some other countries is not as good. Now
that the economy is slowing down, improving customer service quality
is a most effective way to rejuvenate Hong Kong economy including retail
and tourist businesses.
How confident is the Consortium in promoting quality customer service?
What are the expected contributions of HKCSC to service excellence promotion?
- We are confident
that when we can help our consortium members who are leaders to improve
customer standards, other companies in their industries will follow
suit to increase their competitiveness. So when there are more members
from different business to participate, this will help to improve customer
service in more business sectors. We will provide meaningful findings
and useful results to businesses that will give them substantial know-how
to improve their service quality directly. (We also plan to start a
service award program to promote and give recognition to customer service
excellence e.g. to give award to University, MBA students'
projects that are relating to how to improve customer service standards).
How do you convince the program founding members to join and achieve the
- We did not need
to convince them much, as they see the need to improve customer service
standard to be competitive in the market. They are also attracted by
the fact that they will learn from the best of different industries.
What is the relationship between the Consortium and its members -
do the members have a say in its directions, plans and operation? How?
- Members in fact
decide the direction of the research and participate in the research
study. In return, they will receive the research findings. Therefore,
under the Consortium program, the relationship between the HKCSC and
the members is that of a service provider and its clients.
What are the benefits to the members?
- Our members may
participate in the research project and will have research findings
exclusively for one year for their implementation and they will able
to participate in our quarterly meetings, case study sharing, luncheon,
focus group, site visits etc.
Consortium's management and operation budget. What are the membership
fees and contributions?
include senior executives' time, companies' assistance
to the research work and the research funding that is enough for a good
start. (The funding will be revised according to market rate.)
What is the relationship between the Consortium and the HKU Research Team?
Joint partnership or project-based?
- It is not a joint
partnership. It is a research collaboration where we share our information,
our resources and take lead in different research topics. It should
be a long-term relationship.
Objectivity and Quality Control - what research methods and approach
do you use for your research programs?
- We take a scientific
approach. Since we don't report to any one company, we stay objective
in our research. Our methods used include research, focus group, questionnaire
survey, benchmarking studies and others as necessary and appropriate
to our research topics.
Who set out the research outlines and goals? Is the approach educational
- It is our members
who set our direction and we carry out research towards achieving the
goal. Members are asked to present their present and future challenges
in customer service. We then write up research proposals based on their
input. Members voted on these proposals, as a result we selected the
top four research topics.
What are the schedules of these research programs? When do the results
come out? (lead time) Are these research result and solution-oriented?
- It is a 2-year
program. We will provide up-to-date findings quarterly to our members.
We provide research findings that can be customized by different industries.
Are the research findings confidential? Will the public have access to
the research findings or will it be publicized to get public support?
- Our members will
have one year to implement the findings and to set new standards. Afterwards,
other companies may follow, so that the overall service quality will
then be elevated. Yes, after one year some interesting findings will
be publicized on selected journals.
Implementation of research findings - will the Consortium proceed
to designing implementation programs?
- Yes, if requested
by interested members.
Estimated time frame - for the implementation to take effect.
- It will be customized
on a separate project basis.
What is the current quality of customer service in Hong Kong? How do you
qualify your statements ?
- It is a common
impression that Hong Kong customer service is not the best in comparison
to some other countries. That is why the Hong Kong Retail Management
Association is organizing Service Award and the Hong Kong Tourist Association
has put great effort to promote courtesy. The statement from our Financial
Secretary also indicated that service quality is increasingly important
in order to sustain our economic growth.
The significance and urgency of customer service enhancement to economic
- Our key competitive
edge is our People and the good customer service they provide. These
are also the market differentiation between a mature and a developing
economy. Most important of all is the long term benefits of customer
service enhancement to the consolidation of our economy and our future
development to become a leader in Asia's service centers.
How could the Consortium improve customer service in face of the general
trend of corporate downsizing across industries?
- While the economy
is cyclical, customer service quality is a key competitive edge nowadays.
We hope our research findings will help our members to improve their
business productivity. They will have a better management system of
customer service by improving their customer service staff's orientation,
training, motivation and service center technology in order to cope
with less manpower.
The Consortium's role in the enhancement of customer service and expected
response from the business community.
- We hope to mobilize,
draw attention and awareness of the business community to the importance
of customer service quality and standard and to make customer service
one of their top priorities as a competitive edge for Hong Kong. We
hope to achieve our ultimate goal to make Hong Kong a better place to
live and to do business.
What other methods can Hong Kong companies use to promote customer service?
- Other methods include
government support and funding in customer service related research,
training, business seminars and conferences. The local universities
and educational institutions may consider setting up degree courses,
MBA programs with focus on customer service.