Chapter 9

Understanding Service Excellence

For a chief operating officer who is overseeing internal service-oriented units, service excellence should be one of his or her top three priorities. For financial services firms, service, as the name suggests, is key. It is important to foster a strong bank internal service culture along the entire value chain. It is important to see this culture as starting within the organisation, not something that matters only for external clients. To assess the level of service quality, it is very useful to conduct surveys that go beyond absolute values to capture the “gaps”—in other words, the quality of service as it is perceived and the actual level of service delivery. It is also important to remember that surveys are just one tool. A company must live its service culture, starting with senior management.


Service excellence can be defined as the level at which service exceeds the needs and expectations of the customer. In the context of private banking, most people would assume that service excellence describes a situation whereby wealth managers are required to fully understand the client’s investment needs and expectations and provide superior advice while implementing the steps required to ensure quality standards are met. But there is another way to think of service excellence, in which the focus is directed not on clients but on a bank’s own employees—that is, service excellence applied to the internal ...

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