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Comfort Class Transport Does Customer Service need an Overhaul Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2527 2090 Words (8 Pages) Michael J. Roberts, Paul E. Morrison Harvard Business School : 4374
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Performance levels refer to how well we perform relative to the expected standards. There are the following two performance levels: Desired performance and actual performance. Desired performance refers to the ideal performance levels which are exhibited by the people to the expected standards. In this case, desired performance standards include 5% call abandonment and 95% TSF (Total Service factor). While actual performance refers to the performance which was exhibited not considering the performance standards. Both these standards are the metrics of the Human Performance Improvement (HPI) model which takes a result-driven approach to improve the performance. It takes the result and then improves the performance by taking essential corrective action. In our case, Comfort Class Transport (CCT) received good reviews from the customers which means that it has come up to the expectations of its customers. So, we can conclude that CCT has been able to successfully exhibit the desired performance levels which is one of the metrics of the HPI model. Although overall service is regarded as satisfactory by customers, they complain about waiting in the line for their call to be answered by the call center department of CCT. This results in customer dissatisfaction and sometimes leads to them balking. To expand in the market, CCT must retain and extend the loyalty of the customer base which can be done by providing them with the best services.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. What is/are the desired performances? What is/are the actual performances?

  2. What is/are the performance gaps? Identify performance gaps at all three levels (individual, team, and organization)    

  3. What data would you collect to identify the actual cause of the gap?    

  4. Who would you collect the data from and why?

  5. What methods will you use to collect the data from each of your sources?

  6. Plug the data from the case onto "Five Whys" and "Fishbone diagram" cause analysis tools and use the tools to describe where the problems could lies within the organization.

  7. Based on your analysis in the above step, what do you think is/are the causes of the problems? Justify your choice of causes

Case Study Questions Answers

2. What is/are the performance gaps? Identify performance gaps at all three levels (individual, team, and organization)    

In terms of an organization, performance gaps mean that the employee is not able to meet the performance standards set by the organization. The performance gap has trifold implications. The first is at the individual level. If an employee is not performing well, his self-esteem may get damaged, he might be not able to meet his career goals, he might not be able to grab promotion and benefits, and eventually, he might be laid off at that level. 

Second effect is at the group level. In all organizations, employees must engage in group tasks. These group tasks require the employees to work collaboratively with their peers and be able to solve the problems at the group level. If an employee is facing performance gaps, he might not be able to give his best when working in a team. He might not be able to contribute meaningfully to the team and might lack the interpersonal or collaborative skills to work with the teams. Similarly, due to performance gaps, his self-esteem would be low, and he would not be able to participate in the group assignments confidently because of questioning his abilities. 

Third effect of the performance gap is on the individual level. It is a universal fact that the success of an organization depends on the performance of the employees. In this case, CCT has only seven CSRs to serve customers. This can create a lagging effect and could affect further the expansion plans by impacting the customer base given that 30% of customers who experience missed calls do not contact CCT but rather competitors (Roberts & Morrison, 2011). Lastly, at the organizational level, CCT needs to improve its customer call responding service.

3. What data would you collect to identify the actual cause of the gap?    

The data needed to find identify the performance gaps is the relative performance of the employees up to the organization’s metrics. The gaps can be identified by several methods. One method could be assessing the performance relative to the rubric. A rubric is given before the tasks which outline the expectations of the organization from the employee relative to the task assigned. By comparing the rubric standards with the actual performance, a gap can be identified (Hummel, 2003). 

Second method could be counting the number of defects. This holds mostly in the operations department. If the number of defects is lower, the performance is good and if the number of defects is higher, the performance is poor. Third method to assess the performance gap is peer evaluation (Duan, 2011). This method holds for the group assignment. In the peer evaluation, employees rank their peers according to their performance levels in the group assignment. This assignment can be in the form of collaboration, motivation, inputting ideas. Another popular method is the customer data or customer satisfaction level. This holds mostly for the sales department. The data is used to assess the performance of the sales representatives relative to the customer’s expectations.

4. Who would you collect the data from and why?

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