IS the customer always right and how does this matter?
Customer service - the often-forgotten truth
My belief is that the customer is NOT always right, in spite of the popular saying.
However, the customer always deserves to be treated right. For the customer is the reason for the seller's/supplier's existence,
The problem of customer service is that organisations and their people frequently seem to forget that the customer is the reason for their existence and treat the customer as a problem, as an interruption to their work, as an inconvenience.
People in an organisation need to understand that the customer is not an interruption, the customer is the reason for their existence!
And the reason for this is that organisations frequently grow from relatively small teams of people dedicated to providing a particular product or service, to large, highly-structured and tightly controlled systems whose main focus is maintaining the structure rather than serving the "inconvenient" customer or client.
In the plethora of regulations and Standard Operating Procedures the client is forgotten and often simply ignored, or treated like a gate-crasher at a party, an unwelcome guest.
Organisations need to structure themselves in such a way that every employee is fully aware of their role in meeting or exceeding customers' needs, because it is only in so doing that the long-term viability of the organisation can be ensured.
Every person in the organisation should be working to ensure that at the end of the service delivery path is a delighted customer who will, because of the good experience they have had, come back time and again to the organisation to get their needs met.
So why do I say that the customer is not always right? Customers often do not fully understand the product or service they are offered. They do not alwaysseek the service or product from the appropriate organisation. They sometimes treat the customer service person badly.
And that is the crux of the matter - how people are treated is the most important facet of the whole service delivery effort. And it will generally start with the service provider's staff - they need to have all the necessary skills to handle customers in the way customers deserve to be treated; indeed the way all people deserve to be treated - with respect, understanding and involvement. An organisation which appreciates fully the needs of its customers and works to meet or exceed them, will also treat its people well.
An organisation needs to treat its own people as well as it would its most valued customer, for in so doing it will ensure that its customers also get such treatment.
Never let a customer out of your business unhappy, and never let an employee home after work unhappy!
The unhappy customer will only come back to complain - the unhappy employee will not put his or her full commitment to the job.
The text and all images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are by Tony McGregor who hereby asserts his copyright on the material. Should you wish to use any of the text or images feel free to do so with proper attribution and, if possible, a link back to this page. Thank you.
© Tony McGregor 2010
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