What’s your Customer Gibberish?
Customer Delight, Customer Orientation, Customer First… whatever you want to call it, is this one of the expectations you have from your employees? If at all you do, then you got to answer another question. How do you make them practice it?
As a consultant, I have been working with organizations that are owner driven, MNCs, group companies and start ups. Majority of the companies have one of this Customer Gibberish as a competency, value, cultural pillar, DNA strand, ideology etc. And the definitions of these elements are mostly vague and revolve around the usual; creating – Customer Gibberish.
Many have recognized this as an important element. Few have got it right. Those who have gotten this right have recognized customer service as an outcome, not a skill.
Outcome of what?
Customer service is the outcome of relentlessly delivering well defined promises through a highly engaged workforce.
If there is a company which is trying hard to get a tick against their customer service primarily through their posters and sing along jingles, well, good luck with that. Make the customer believe that you are the best in whatever you are doing and let your best engaged employee attend to them. They will give you the tick. No tricks, no bribes, no prompts.
Isn’t customer the king?
Imagine a jerk right ahead of you in the queue you are standing to get your movie ticket. He is a nightmarish customer and the representative at the counter is supposed to ‘service’ him. Why? Because, his/her company wants him to do so. They have asked all the employees to follow the behaviors mentioned in the placard. But at what cost? Standing in the queue, waiting to be served, how do you – another customer – feel?
Customers come in all the forms. Every organization has limited time and bandwidth. It’s a critical decision to choose who you want to serve or not. Train the employees on that. This is possible if there is a belief that the product or service is worth its salt. If not, make it worth it.
Lastly, earn your employee’s commitment. Don’t just demand. The amount of energy spent superficially retaining customers if spent on earning employee engagement, half the problem will be solved.