In a previous post I put forth the idea that great service starts with a customer-focused culture. And I said that even the best people flounder in a company with a poor culture. So where does great customer service start?
It might sound cyclic, but great service starts with committed people! But… not just committed customer service representatives. The entire company has to share the belief that serving customers is fundamental to their success. When this happens:
|Group / Organization||Committed To||Resists Temptation To|
|Product Management||Developing Products that Meet Needs||Follow the Crowd, Develop Meaningless Bells and Whistles|
|Marketing||Accurately Portraying and Advertising Capabilities||Pitch Future Capabilities|
|Sales||Matching Solutions to Customer Needs, Walking Away when Appropriate||Make a Quick Sale|
|Customer Service||Serving Customer and Deliver Results||Placate Customer and Make Excuses|
|Management||Providing Long Term Value to Customers||Succumb to Short-Term Rewards|
Too often customer focus is handed to a customer service team. We’ve all heard “that’s not my problem.” But to succeed (and not just survive) the service team must be backed up by products and services that work as designed, sold to people whose expectations are realistic and matched to actual capabilities. Service isn’t optional and it is the responsibility of the whole company.
The pivot point for successful companies is to ensure that the culture embraces a holistic approach to serving customers. Cultures that promote the idea that any single department can “save” a company from products that are poorly designed, sold, and implemented are doomed to obscurity and eventual obsolescence.