Leadership needs to be involved in customer relations, especially when things go bad. We often say that even the best strategies and initiatives put in place to create a customer service culture can fail if management doesn’t practice what they preach.
In the article Broncos owner Pat Bowlen e-mails ticket holders after ‘gut-wrenching’ loss, the writer addresses a communication sent to season ticket holders where the Denver Broncos owner appears to do two things very well. First, he empathizes with the customer, noting “I feel terrible for our players, coaches and staff…but most importantly, my heart aches for you.” He then tries to get the fans (and probably himself) focused on the future by stating “As we move forward, I am extremely optimistic with the future of our team.”
This is a positive example of how a leader could (and should) insert himself into a major customer relations issue. He proactively and directly communicates, empathizes, and redirects the focus to the future.
Now I’m not suggesting that leadership needs to constantly be involved in the role of “customer relations representative,” because – frankly – many business leaders are ill-equipped to know how to defuse a 1-on-1 situation, how to effectively communicate, how to empathize with their customer, and how to be responsive to needs.
But when issues arise, don’t buck the Broncos’ approach to fan relations. Appropriately involve leaders in communicating the empathy and the future vision.
Interested in improving your organization’s customer service? See more at http://www.cssamerica.com/