Success is All About Being World Class at the Basics

Imagine you run a burger van.  What do you need to do to make sure it is a success?  How will you get customers to keep coming back?  If you grab a pen and paper and start to write a list it will probably look a little like this:

  • Stall must look spotless
  • Burgers must taste like burgers
  • Onions must be freshly cooked
  • Bread should be fresh
  • Service must be quick and polite
  • Range should include, eggs (fried) and sausages
  • Tomato sauce and mustard provided in clean dispensers

That’s about it, nothing clever, it is all basic stuff, find a busy lay-by and you are set.

Now  imagine you run a call centre.  What do you need to do to make sure it is a success?  How will you get customers to keep coming back?

  • Calls must be answered quickly
  • Agents must be able to resolve callers queries
  • There should be no waiting or transfers
  • All further information or confirmation should be sent quickly
  • (7 to 10 working days is not quick)

Like the burger van, there isn’t anything too clever in my list, it is all basic stuff, there is no segmentation strategy, no cross sell activity, no customer relationship management.

Success is all about being world class at the basics.

Which begs the question, which basics should you be world class at?

Back to basics

Read another opinion

Image by blowfishsoup


  1. After the dust settles from the marketing meeting, brains overheated from all the thinking. Yes, we do need to just slow down for a moment and ask ourselves about the points you make. Hear hear.

  2. Hello James

    When we use an analogy we are picking up one end of a stick and by doing so the other end of that stick comes with it just as it is and we have no say in the matter. That is to say that all analogies restrict our field of view and thus limit what we come up with.

    Whilst I get what you are getting at I also have another point of view. From an operational viewpoint where the call-centre is the world the task is to do what you have set out. Yet, if we see the call-centre as a part of the business ecosystem then we might question why are our customers calling us? Are we making burgerst that are not fit for purpose and so customers are ringing up to complain? Do our customers need to know what is in our burgers and how we make them? If we did that then how many customer calls would no longer come in?

    So in the case of the call-centre it is also worth asking how are we generating demand which serves no value for the customer (nor for us)?

    What do you think?


  3. Hi James,
    I think we need to be clear what we are dealing with here, whether it is inbound or outbound call centres or call centres that are fundamental to our business model ie. call centre based banking, for example. I think that Maz is onto something once we have figured that. If most of our calls are customer problems/issues or complaints then that raises bigger questions and point to the fact that we’re probably not doing our job very well in the first instance.



  1. […] Operational focus, are you world class at the basics? It doesn't matter if you are running a burger van or a call centre, there isn't anything clever about operations management, it's just about focusing on the basics. Source: […]