“I Don’t Have Customers”

The meeting was going well, with a great deal of interaction between the 150+ people in attendance. Everyone was engaged and interested in learning and improving. The focus of the presentation was the results of a recent Mystery Shopping project that assessed various aspects of the organization’s performance from the customer’s perspective. The evaluation provided insight into the company’s web design, its financial processes, its sales and service functions, and its telephone systems among many other aspects of performance.

When the floor was opened to questions, one of the attendees said the following: “Listen. I make products. Why are we talking about this? I don’t have any customers.”

A loud gasp rippled through the audience. An argument ensued over whether that attendee had customers, who paid for the products, and how important service really is to this company. That conversation was a wake-up call to the organization.

We shouldn’t take for granted that everyone understands customer service is important. Based on this story, are we really sure that everyone believes that they even have customers?! When we’re trying to promote customer service within our organization, or get additional funding to retain more customers, or request resources to be more responsive in our service delivery, we’re often met with the answer “No.” We make assumptions as to why we hear “No,” and our assumptions often suggest that “we’re not getting our respect” or others “are pets of the executives.”

But in reality, we need to take on the responsibility to truly find out WHY in order to figure out HOW to overcome these obstacles. Start with the basics – who do the executives consider to be their customers? Is it important to the decision-makers to keep customers? What do the decision-makers consider to be the reasons why customers leave? Do those executives feel that people stay with a business for the same reason they start with a business?

That last question alone is a major red flag to any organization. It implies that advertising and marketing brought this customer in, so advertising and marketing are what will keep this customer as well.

Before you wonder why service isn’t “King” at your organization, start with the basics.

Ask those in-charge “Who’s Your Customer?”

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/

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