Sociologist William Bruce Cameron said, “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted”.
This is true of many aspects of business life and personal relationships. It can be very difficult to monitor and measure customer perceptions. And of course, we like to track as much of our customer’s satisfaction levels throughout their time with us: pre-booking, booking, while training, at test, and post-test.
An added dimension to our notion of customer service is that the person who receives our training is not necessarily the person who has funded the training. And of course, the expectations of both can differ. The age of a customer who funds a course can mean that they personally received an entirely different type of driving training 20 or 30 years ago, than will occur now. Also, the expected standard by which a pupil should be able to drive a vehicle can vary enormously.
The bigger picture is complex, as is often the case. It is possible to train a pupil for the purpose of passing a driving test in a manner which, if observed, any reasonable person would think was boring, repetitive, unpleasant and restrictive. And yet, the end result of that wholly unsatisfactory experience was passing the driving test. Here at BIG TOM, we keep a close eye on the DVSA driving standards and our training has the integrity to ensure that it does not suffer from test-centric limitations.
The above fact is of course a key benefit to any driving instructor joining this franchise. It is very easy to lower training standards when one allows what is being counted, to affect how training is delivered. Many organisations who are providing a service, suffer this inevitability; and very often the larger the organisation the more prone to compromising performance for criteria around ‘counting’. People will often experience management personnel forcing the terms by which training is delivered just to satisfy the data requirements.
The reason why BIG TOM is very aware of this situation is that it is an easy path to go down, this lowering of training standards is undoubtedly easier and quicker to deliver. But when it comes to something as important as road safety, we recognise the responsibility to ensure that driving standards are followed. Our customers get to experience driving in a variety of towns and cities for a very good reason; the regulator is not counting this, but we know it positively impacts outcomes.