Service & Culture Transformation

Service & Culture Transformation
Case Studies

Case Study 1: Service Transformation

In Singapore, the Public Service administration has set in place ‘Integrity’, ‘Service’, and ‘Excellence’ as its core values, which are expected to be inculcated in all Public Service staff. In living out those core values, the Client thus sought to review their organisation’s service framework, for alignment with the larger Public Service in terms of collaborating with customers for a more robust customer experience. While upholding the service quality of its officers has always been a basic expectation of the Client, it became imperative to review its service framework, in tandem with increased public expectations of customer service in recent years. In the June 2013 issue of the Ethos[1], Mr Pang King Keong, Chairman of the Quality Service Committee, alluded to “a sharp escalation in public interaction with government agencies”. He also observed that “the nature of feedback and expectations of government responses have also become more complex”, due to “a better educated, better informed and more sophisticated citizenry (who) have come to expect greater responsiveness, accountability and personalisation in services. They also expect public agencies to have more empathy and understanding of their individual needs.”

Considering the evolving expectations toward public service, the Client decided to embark on a Service Transformation Journey. This was with the purpose of reviewing – amongst other things – its core values, the accompanying service behaviours expected of staff, and its current organisational culture. The journey commenced with senior management interviews, to understand their service vision for the organisation. However, there still lacked clarity on the various customer journeys for each business function, as well as understanding of key sub-processes. We facilitated discussions with the internal stakeholders and process owners, to map out customer journey maps across business functions. We also conducted observational studies, followed by one-to-one interviews with real customers, to understand their experience in key sub-processes.

Subsequently, a Cultural Values Assessment was conducted across the entire organisation, to understand how staff viewed the organisation’s culture, as well the kind of working culture they desired. What emerged was a ground-up discussion of the behaviours that staff experienced in the office, and how it impacted their delivery of customer service. This resulted in a holistic review of the organisation’s core values, via a series of senior and middle management “Unpack-Repack” workshops, where management staff gained clarity on the core behaviours expected of them as leaders. The revised core values was eventually cascaded throughout the organisation for all staff.

Focus group discussions with customers and staff were also conducted, to solicit feedback on areas done well and areas to be improved, with regard to their specific customer sub-process. Their desired emotions were also identified through those sessions. From these, customers were eventually segmented into different customer emotional profiles, with specific desired emotions. For example, Routine customers could be expected to want to feel ‘Assured’, ‘Convenienced’, and that they received ‘Fair’ treatment. In contrast, while Appeal customers also wished to feel ‘Assured’ and ‘Convenienced’, they showed a stronger desire to want to be ‘Cared For’ by the Client.

The Service Transformation Journey culminated in a customer experience survey, where a baseline measurement of the organisation’s customer service was taken. Through the survey, key drivers of customer satisfaction and advocacy were identified, for adoption into further action planning by the Client. This spoke of a commitment from the Client to ensure that their customers enjoyed a happy and seamless customer experience.


[1] “A New Paradigm for the Delivery of Public Services”, Pang Kin Keong, Ethos, Issue 12, June 2013. Extracted from
on 6 Mar 2017.


Case Study 2: Mapping Customer Service Experiences

Our client is a privatised unit that supplies piped gas to over half a million customers in Singapore. In line with the opening up of the Gas industry, it is expected that it will face competition in the coming years. It is thus imperative that they differentiate themselves by providing a superior customer service experience that attracts and retains its customers. The client is keen therefore, to define a distinct service experience and ensure that this is consistently rolled-out to its customers.

  • Develop desired service culture
  • Define the customer experience and processes
  • Develop service standards and behaviours
  • Train all staff and contractors to deliver the customer service experience
  • Propose performance management criteria based on new standards


  • Leadership Visioning workshop
  • Focus groups to draft process maps
  • Develop and deliver training sessions
  • Performance Management system


Key Outcomes:
  • Clear service process maps and standards
  • Desired behaviours (including emotional experiences)
  • Management and Supervisors' ownership of processes
  • All leaders and staff trained to deliver the experiences

Case Study 3: Customer Centric Initiative (CCI)

About the Client

Our client is a primary healthcare provider in Singapore, offering a broad range of services such as examinations and health screenings, general outpatient treatments, chronic illness management, and corporate healthcare management. From a family owned and operated clinic in 1973, the organisation has grown to a network of 12 clinics serving more than 700 patients daily, and managing the medical needs of more than 1,000 corporate clients.


With plans to further grow the business in Singapore and the region, our client expressed concerns with the capability of its workforce to support the organisation in achieving its goals. Management also highlighted behavioural and engagement issues, amongst other organisational challenges that were inhibiting the organisation from adapting to the modern business landscape.


The organisation partnered with aAdvantage Consulting on a Customer Centric Initiative to ensure growth and sustainability through the delivery of differentiated customer service experience. We developed a 5-phase approach towards enabling our client to develop an organisation culture that drives service excellence, supported by strong human resource management practices.

We began Phase 1 – Diagnostics and Insights by measuring current levels of customer loyalty and satisfaction for both patients and corporate clients. Findings from the measurement activities provided insights on the level of satisfaction at each stage of the customer journey, as well as identified key service attributes that drive of customer loyalty and satisfaction. Following which, a series of in-depth interviews and mystery shopper audits were then conducted, to gain a better understanding of the customer experience and the service gaps previously uncovered.

An Employee Engagement Survey (EES) was then conducted to understand culture values currently experienced and desired by employees. The EES also assessed the level of employee engagement in the organisation, providing management with an indicator on the effectiveness of organisation development policies and practices. To better understand the key drivers of employee engagement and how the organisation could develop the desired culture, staff focus groups were conducted at the management and staff level.

In Phase 2 – Design, management and staff were asked to identify key areas of focus for action planning to address service gaps and achieve a higher level of service quality. To accomplish this, we facilitated a customer journey mapping workshop for both management and staff. Findings and insights from Phase 1 of the project provided the basis for discussion on areas done well, and areas that needed further improvements to achieve higher customer satisfaction.

Next, we established the desired service experience and service culture with management through uncovering inhibitors of service excellence within the organisation. Based on each stage of the customer journey, management identified key areas of focus to build and sustain the service culture. During the staff action-planning workshop, root causes of service gaps in the customer journey were identified, and ideation of possible solutions to address those service gaps was facilitated.

For Phase 3 – Implement, we designed a series of training programmes aimed at equipping staff with capabilities on how to deliver the desired service experience, and to empower supervisors with the knowledge on managing their staff in delivering the desired service experience. The training programmes also focused on evoking desired customer emotions, and how it influences the customer experience.

In Phase 4 - Sustain of the project, it involved the reviewing and enhancing of our client's human resource systems and practices for better talent attraction, management, and retention. We strengthen the existing performance management system by developing a set of core competencies reflective of the revised organisation's core values, established a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) specific to job functions. This provides clarity of expected behaviours and performance outcomes, necessary for the organisation to develop the desired culture and to achieve organisational goals.

Typically, competency gaps identified during performance evaluation translates to training and development needs. To ensure those training and development needs are addressed in a timely manner to sustain service excellence, a Learning Roadmap was developed in conjunction with relevant department heads. During the discussion, key competencies necessary for staff to perform their job roles at their job levels effectively were also identified.

The final human resource component in Phase 4, was a review and fine-tuning of the organisation's rewards and recognition programme to drive and sustain service excellence. Due to the complexity of operations with staff movements across several clinics, we had to ensure the rewards programme could accurately reward and recognise the deserving individual based on their performance outcomes.

For the organisation to continuously improve and sustain the level of service quality, we developed a customer feedback management framework that includes policies and processes on customer analytics and service recovery. This will enable the organisation to proactively solicit feedback from customers, to better understand their changing needs, as well as to ensure the organisation’s ability to respond to feedback in a timely manner and take necessary service recovery actions when needed.

Finally, as a requirement of SPRING’s CCI projects, we led the client through a business excellence (BE) certification process, culminating in the eventual application for Service Class – a BE niche standard.

To determine the degree of improvement since the start of the project as well as from recent interventions, we conducted another round of customer measurement and EES in Phase 5 – Measure six months after the implementation of Phase 3 - training.Case Study 1: Customer Centric Initiative (CCI)